She nearly stumbled as she walked off the bus. Opening her nugatory umbrella that she really didn't needed due to the fact that she was far used to the rain, Kagome progressed onwards. She frowned at the onslaught of frigid winter rain, despite her being used to such winter weather. She scurried down the block towards where she lived. The bus didn't stop down the small roads, only the main arterials. She accepted that, besides, the walk wasn't too long.
As she approached the small apartment she lived in and was safely under the cover of a roof, Kagome closed her umbrella. She strolled across the lobby and smiled kindly at the woman working the front desk. She nodded back. Kagome pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and strolled towards the elevator. Hitting her finger against the tenth floor button, Kagome shifted her weight from the balls of her feet to the heels and back again.
Once the door opened with a little 'ping', Kagome continued her trek down the hallway. Near the end of the hall she found her apartment. Fishing around in her pocket, she extracted a small silver key and placed it inside her lock.
Slowly, she inched into her home and glanced around. It was late at night, and if not for the clouds outside there would have been a bright moon shinning through the window. Kagome shook out her umbrella and hung it on a hook along with her winter coat. Slipping off her shoes she locked the door and retreated into the warmth of her home.
She wasn't the least bit surprised to see Inuyasha hunched over the table, his face pressed against the papers he'd been working on. His back rose and fell with his soft breathing. His dog ears twitched towards her but otherwise he didn't stir. Kagome watched with a large bit of amusement as Inuyasha's soft breaths fluttered a piece of paper away only to draw it back with a deep inhale. When it came to Inuyasha, he was often rather dilatory with his work and he was often prone to falling asleep or putting something off until the last minute.
His somniferous breaths quelled Kagome into a state of peacefulness, almost as if his sleepy sighs could coax Kagome into her own nap. She watched him, quite satisfied, for a few moments before blushing and putting a hand on his back. She leaned over him gradually, her blue eyes trained on his silken mop of hair before placing a feather soft kiss on one of the twitching dog ears.
He mumbled something in his sleep before his golden eyes slipped open, focusing on the small pile of papers he was supposed to be working on. He sat up slowly, taking a piece of paper with him—the small sheet was stuck to his cheek. He blinked slowly, searching for focus before tilting his head and spotting Kagome. His sleep ridden mind cleared as he recognized her. He rubbed one of his deep honeyed colored eyes as he yawned lightly.
It appeared as if he'd awaken from a hundred year's sleep, though Kagome knew better. Most likely, Inuyasha had gotten tired of working, as he always did, and had managed to procrastinate so much he'd managed to wheedle himself into a slumber.
She smiled at him and sat down next to him. "Hello, sleepy head."
He grinned cheekily at her and peeled the paper of his face. Dropping the paper, Kagome watched it as it swept through the air before landing on the table a couple of inches away from the pile he'd been lying on top of. It fluttered from a large exhale the silver haired man produced before lying motionlessly on the tabletop.
Inuyasha blinked his eyes, clearing away the sleepiness that blurred his vision. His velvet-soft ears twitched towards Kagome. Rolling his back and stretching his arms over his head, he waited until he heard a familiar crack and pop before relaxing and leaning against the back of his chair.
"Welcome home," he greeted Kagome. Kagome smiled, her cheeks a shade of light pink at his loving salutation. Inuyasha had that magical ability to make anything he said sound like he meant it from the bottom of his heart. He had that talent of pulling on the heartstrings of even the coldest of humans.
"If you're tired, you shouldn't be working. Wait until tomorrow," Kagome said lightly, worried that he was working himself too hard. In all actuality, however, it was more likely that Inuyasha had just procrastinated too much and bored himself to sleep.
He waved his hand in a dismissal of her worry, verifying her thoughts on his flair for putting things off. "Don't be ridiculous. I was only resting my eyes for a moment."
Kagome felt her lips fall from her smile and instead curve downwards in a thoughtful frown. Inuyasha recognized the look in her eyes instantly and nervously ran his fingers through his hair.
Trying to suppress her inquiry, he gave her one of his dashing smiles that usually melted her into a blubbering girl. He was satisfied to see it worked. Within moments, Kagome's frown had evaporated and replaced with a barely concealed grin. Her hands cupped her cheeks, hiding the color change. He could practically hear her blush and her heart flutter in her chest.
"What time is it anyway?" Inuyasha questioned even though he had a watch on his wrist. He arched one dark eyebrow towards his hairline, causing another skip of Kagome's heart.
Kagome gave him a look before checking the wall clock on the opposite side of the apartment. "Nearly midnight."
The way his eyes widened for just a brief moment was proof enough that he hadn't been 'resting his eyes' as he'd claimed. She decided to let it go, not wanting to make more of a fool of herself in his presence. Knowing Inuyasha, however, Kagome had a feeling that it was only a matter of time before Inuyasha converted her to a bubbly mass of feminine giggles.
"How was class?" Inuyasha questioned as he tried to balance a pen between his lips and nose by puffing out his lips. The end result looked similar to that of a duck's.
Kagome stood from her chair and retreated to the kitchen to get something to eat and to prevent herself from bursting into laughter from his comical facial expression. As she entered she extracted some leftovers her mother had given her from dinners back home and heated them in the microwave. She smiled over at Inuyasha.
"It was boring as ever—want some?" When he nodded his head she took out a second plate. "It's even worse that I have to take it at night. I always feel like just skipping and going to bed."
She saw Inuyasha nod out of the corner of her eye, which sent the writing utensil balancing on his duck bill lips flying. He didn't seem too depressed over the loss. He stood as well and moved into the kitchen with Kagome.
It had been four years since they'd met, and their fifth year anniversary was fast approaching. In all fairness, however, the two hadn't been going out for nearly five years. They'd remained friends for that long, but in all actuality they'd taken quite a few breaks from one another. Despite taking breaks and breaking up, Inuyasha and Kagome never felt any enmity towards one another. The closest they ever got to hating each other was when they fought, and even then, one could tell how much they adored one another and hated fighting. Fights were just inevitable to a happy couple, some people would say.
As is customary with young couples, the insecurities played in. What if they weren't truly meant for each other? What was out there besides their significant other? The questions plagued them and they decided to take several breaks as they did their own thing.
They'd both decided to try dating other people. They had good times with their dates, and Kagome even had a few months with one boyfriend while Inuyasha went steady with a girl for about a month. They had fun hanging out as friends, and even went on a double date once. But even when they weren't together, it seemed as if the other was so ubiquitous that ever little thing reminded them of each other. The littlest, most trivial thing shot memories of what they once had reeling through their head. It was almost as if they were never truly apart.
It had only taken about half a year for them to get back together after their dates, deciding that it was the other they wanted to be with.
Like all couples, the two did have fights. At times, Inuyasha found himself growing jealous of Kagome's friends who happened to be boys—even if it was simply a friendship. And Kagome grew too self-conscious and worrying that perhaps she wasn't the best for Inuyasha. In short, the two were too afraid to really commit.
Of course, during Thanksgiving two years ago, Inuyasha had asked Kagome back. She'd happily accepted and they'd been going out ever since. They did their best to quell the other's insecurities, jealousies, or fears. They did an excellent job taking care of one another. And during Hanukkah a year later, Inuyasha had asked Kagome to move in with him.
Kagome handed Inuyasha a plate of food and sat down at the table. Inuyasha cleared his work off the table and they began eating their late night dinner. Inuyasha rested his head in his hand as he chewed thoughtfully on the spaghetti. He'd been in deep thought lately, and it seemed that he was always distracted.
Inuyasha had been through many traumas in his life. He'd lost so many people he cared about. At the age of eighteen, he'd moved out and lived in a run-down apartment he could barely take care of. He had money to his name, funds that his grandmother and grandfather had supplied him with since he was a small child, but he wasn't very money-savvy. Bubbie refused to help him; she claimed that he'd betrayed her when he moved out before finishing high school.
A year later, Bubbie had passed away. It wasn't a large surprise to many. In the passing year, she'd grown increasingly sicker and sicker. She'd refused medication, claiming it wouldn't help her and that she'd be well soon enough. She'd been wrong. She died shortly after Inuyasha graduated. He'd mournfully watched his bubbie descend into the ground next to his zadie. His grandparents were together again, but he no longer had any family.
Kagome's mother happily took care of the boy when he needed it, helping him decide what to do and what would be a good job for him. She even offered him her leftovers from the dinners her family shared. Occasionally Inuyasha would join the Higurashi family for dinner.
Inuyasha valued the kindness that Mrs. Higurashi gave him, kindness that he was positive he didn't deserve. He may have confessed to Kagome about her father, but he had yet to tell Mrs. Higurashi of what happened the day her husband died. It was funny, he feared Mrs. Higurashi's rejection far more than he feared rejection from Bubbie, which ultimately came.
In the end, however, with Kagome by his side, Inuyasha told Mrs. Higurashi the story of his life before his boarding school. Mrs. Higurashi had been silent the entire time he'd shared the story of his life, never once interrupting. She cried, of course, and she hadn't had the strength to speak to Inuyasha until days later.
But by the time it was over, it was obvious to see that Kagome wasn't the only person in her family that had a caring and forgiving heart. Mrs. Higurashi opened her arms to Inuyasha and held him like he was her own son. She never held it against him, understanding that it had all been an accident. After that, Inuyasha found Mrs. Higurashi far more affable than before, having no longer to hold his secret inside.
He and Kagome had both made it to their state's university, just an hour outside the city they'd grown up in. Inuyasha and Kagome were both slightly grateful to move out, however, due to the memories the city held for them. The big city was a brand new start for them and they happily embraced college life.
Sango had been admitted to a college one state over as did Miroku. The two grew increasingly closer throughout the years and currently were dating. Kagome still had the email Sango sent to her the day she got her first kiss saved on her computer. Though Sango and Inuyasha never got to be the best of friends, they'd acquired a neutral understanding. In the end, they were both bound together through Kagome. Miroku and Kagome stayed friends, though were never very close.
Rin graduated and attended a college on the East coast, where the majority of her family lived. Rin's mother was thrilled to move over there as well and stay close to her own mother and siblings. Rin joined a sorority and met some fraternity boys. Ultimately, however, Rin became partial to a boy in her English class. Rin writes a weekly email to Kagome, just to stay in touch, and Kagome happily replies every time, even sending her own occasionally. They also made it a habit of sending one another holiday cards; even for the most obscure of holidays.
Shippou graduated a year later than Inuyasha and Kagome, being younger, and also began attending the state university in the fall. Unlike Inuyasha and Kagome, however, who lived off campus, Shippou lived in a dorm room with a roommate. The short red-head was thrilled to learn his dorm room was Co-ed. He met a girl down the hall from him and began dating.
Over the years, Kagome and Inuyasha had both changed. Through his gentle coaxing, Kagome's fears and insecurities mostly evaporated. The girl was still nervous at times and didn't like speaking with people she didn't know very well, but she no longer stared at her feet when she walked. She held her head high and tried her hardest to not slouch as much as possible.
Inuyasha slowly found himself letting go of the people he loved. Zadie, Naraku and Bubbie's deaths played heavily on his mind but he allowed himself to move on after much work. He was sad for a long time, but through his own will and Kagome's tender reassurance, the boy found himself growing increasingly happy. Soon, he became his normal, chipper self again.
Currently, the two worked at the YMCA daycare and after school activities. Kagome worked in the music department helping teach children how to play the piano and occasionally taught swim lessons and helped with crafts. Inuyasha played basketball with the kids and other sports. The majority of the time the children only enjoyed tackling Inuyasha to the ground and using him as a living, breathing jungle gym. He accepted it and even tossed some children into the air only to catch them easily.
When they weren't working, of course, the two went to the university and worked on their degrees. After a long process of talking with his teachers and counselors, Inuyasha decided that he wanted to be a counselor himself. He admired the way they could help solve problems. More importantly he wanted to be a child's counselor. He wanted to work at a high school, or maybe a junior high, and help kids work through their problems. Most of all, he didn't want any other teenager to choose Naraku's 'solution' in a way to solve their problems. He had a long road to go down, but he was prepared to spend as many years as possible training and working for his chance to make a difference in children's lives.
Kagome also wanted to work with children. She was currently earning a degree in special education. She found herself drawn to the children with special needs. She wanted to help children who were disabled. Her own cousin had special needs so she already had some practice in interacting with special needs children. She was determined to make a difference, especially since there was a shortage on special education teachers.
"You have a class tomorrow right?" Kagome questioned, stirring Inuyasha from his thoughts. He blinked golden eyes and turned his gaze towards her, away from the bowl of spaghetti he'd been studying. She stared at him for a moment. "Class tomorrow?" she repeated, unsure if he'd heard. "Do you have one?"
He seemed to comprehend what she'd asked the second time through because he smiled and nodded his head. "Yeah, only one though. From ten to noon."
Kagome nodded her head and poked at the noodles in her bowl. The winter holiday was coming soon and the break was fast approaching. Hanukkah and Christmas were only a few weeks away—this year the two holidays were very close together.
Her hand reached out and touched his. This year he'd be able to get rid of his Doxepin prescription for good. The doctor had to increase his use in light of the tragic deaths in his life which led to regret and depression. But the time was coming for sure this year.
Their lives in high school changed when they met one another. They both knew they'd changed, but they'd changed for the better. And it was because of the other one.
"Want to get lunch together tomorrow?" Inuyasha asked. "I'll be out at noon so that will be the perfect time to go and get something."
"Sure," Kagome said with a smile and polished off the rest of her food. She stood and collected his plate, which was also empty. She moved to the sink and washed the dishes as best she could before stacking them into the dishwasher. It was full at this point so she turned it on.
"You should go to sleep," Inuyasha said calmly when he saw her yawn. He flashed her one of his large smiles and stood up from the table, staking his papers into a small pile. "You look tired."
"I can say the same about you," Kagome said with her cheeks turning pink. "You were sleeping when I came in."
He shrugged one shoulder. "So we'll go to sleep."
"Right, right," Kagome said with a wave of her hand. "I need to take a shower first, then I'll go to bed. I promise."
He smiled at her and retreated into the bedroom they shared. Kagome had a habit of falling asleep the instant her head hit the pillow—it took her no time at all to fall asleep. Inuyasha, however, took hours to fall asleep. Even if he was exhausted, the moment he was in bed would be the start of a few hours staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, or reading.
After Kagome's shower and after she'd fallen asleep (almost instantly) Inuyasha found himself looking at her instead of the ceiling. She was lying on her stomach, her head nestled in the soft down of her pillow. Her large blue eyes were hidden beneath heavy lids and stray tendrils of black hair billowed down her back and over her shoulder, hiding half her face from his view.
Golden eyes swept the soft curves of the woman he loved and he sighed gently. A hand moved forward and brushed her ebony locks from her face. A slim finger followed the arc of her cheek and her lips curved into a small smile in her sleep.
His eyes softened as she sighed and snuggled into the warmth of their bed. Her hands grasped the pillow, subconsciously puffing it up and making it more comfortable for her. He watched her as she slipped into her deep sleep. She didn't stir again. Save for her gentle breathing, the girl didn't move.
His hand grasped hers, his thumb running over her soft knuckles. Her smile never left her face and soon he felt his lips curving into a smile that matched her own. He laced her fingers with hers, and rested his head against the pillow. Within moments, it seemed, the man fell asleep, his hand wrapped tightly around hers.
The next morning, about a quarter past noon, Inuyasha met Kagome at the bus stop and they set out on their way to have lunch together. Their schedules didn't always line up—with work and school—but when they found an opening, they spent it together.
"I got an email from Sango today," Kagome said conversationally as they walked down the street.
"Oh?" Inuyasha tilted his head up and stared at the sky. Clouds lolled together and threatened snow—or freezing rain—and he prayed it stayed dry since neither had an umbrella at their disposal. "What did it say?"
"She and Miroku had a fight," Kagome said with a frown. "I wish they'd stopped fighting. Or at least I wish I could be down there for a little while so I can say hi and comfort Sango in person." Kagome sighed and ran her fingers through her long black hair. "It's a little impersonal doing it through the internet."
Inuyasha nodded his head sympathetically as they turned a corner and narrowly avoided a woman hustling two children rather quickly. Inuyasha placed his hand on the small of Kagome's back and ushered her away with a quick sidestep.
They reached the small café without anymore problems. Finding a table inside near a window, the two ordered drinks and looked over their menu, daring to sneak glances at one another when the other was debating over what to order.
"Heard from your mom lately?" Inuyasha questioned idly as he debated over a turkey sandwich or a hamburger.
Kagome nodded her head. "Souta got the results back from his PSAT," Kagome said with a small frown as she closed her menu and set it down. Soup and a salad for her. "He didn't do too well."
Inuyasha perked up with this information, his head lifting and golden eyes fixing on her. "Really… how did he do?"
"Really bad, apparently," Kagome sighed. "Even if it's only a PSAT, Souta was really upset to learn that he only got a nine hundred."
Inuyasha's jaw dropped. "A nine hundred?"
Kagome nodded. "Yeah, that's really bad." Inuyasha nodded his head in agreement. "And they got a postcard from Grandpa—you know, he went to visit a long time friend in Japan."
Inuyasha nodded as he listened, his head cradled in his hand as he watched cars drive by. Golden eyes watched people walk down the sidewalks. His lips curved into a tiny smile. He always felt right at home in the city. There were certainly a lot of weird people—interesting people, rather—that inhabited the city. So much, in fact, that he felt exactly at home. In the unlikely situation that his hat came uncovered it could be passed off as a crazy thing young people do to get attention.
"Is everything okay?" Kagome asked quietly, rousing Inuyasha from his people watching. He turned his head towards her, a curious expression in his eyes. "I mean," Kagome whispered, feeling heat rising to her cheeks. "You just seem out of it lately. Like you're thinking about something serious."
He smiled and shook his head. "I'm fine. I think I'm overworking myself. I'm tired." As if to quell her fears, he faked a yawn. Closing his mouth, he offered her a smile. "Don't worry, Kagome."
She still didn't seem convinced, but she didn't press it. The waiter came by with their drinks and took their orders before trotting back off into the kitchen. Kagome sighed and fiddled with the straw coming out of her drink. It clunked the ice against the glass as she swirled it around in a circular motion.
Inuyasha watched her with a light frown, his brow furrowing as he watched her. "Why?"
"I'm just worried, that's all," Kagome confessed, knowing for a fact that her face was as red as a beet.
They sat in silence, sipping their drinks, until the waiter came by and dropped off their food. They began eating—Inuyasha chomped into his turkey burger and Kagome spooned her tomato soup into her mouth. Half way through their meal, Inuyasha spoke again.
"I don't want you to worry," he said nervously, his golden eyes staring at her. She saw the concern in the honey depths and frowned lightly. He had such angelic eyes. They were so beautiful and exotic. It was hard for her to stay mad at him when he gave her his look. "Kagome…"
"I know you don't," she said lightly, silencing herself by spooning more soup into her mouth. She really didn't want Inuyasha to worry, either.
"I'm fine, really," Inuyasha promised, reaching out across the table and capturing her hand. He squeezed it briefly before letting go and picking up his food again. "You have no reason to worry."
He flashed her a bright smile and Kagome felt her worry dissipate. Inuyasha was fine. He wouldn't lie to her if something was wrong.
The days ticked by, as they often do, and soon the two college students found themselves in their winter break. Kagome appreciated the time off as did Inuyasha. Leading up to the holidays, the two spent most of their time down near the YMCA, passing out donated clothing to underprivileged children.
As Inuyasha lifted a large cardboard box filled with old jackets for children, he spotted Kagome helping a small child into a forest green jacket. The little girl smiled up at Kagome, her blond hair bobbing in the pigtails her mother had tied back for her.
He paused in his return to his own spot to pass out clothes, content in just watching her. She was a beautiful person, he realized, not just look wise. She'd grown more confident over the years, but he could still see the glimmer of insecurity in her eyes whenever she spoke, as if he was going to shoot her down.
But with children, she had no fear in her eyes. She was straightforward and friendly to the children. She didn't fear their judgment. It was kind of remarkable, simply because Kagome's tormentors had been children, not adults. But she proved time and time again her willingness to forgive. Even the children who happened to be brats never daunted Kagome's stride.
He watched the girl trot away, waving happily at Kagome as her mother grasped her other hand. Kagome waved back, smiling, before bending down and offering a box filled with coats to the next child. The little boy, a large frown on his face, dug around through the boxes before shaking his head. He didn't see anything he liked.
Kagome, not letting the child's pickiness lead her astray, straightened and turned her attention towards Inuyasha. Spotting him, she smiled and moved towards him, her blue eyes flickering to the box in his hand. He understood what she wanted.
He walked toward her and met her halfway. He offered her the box. "Here you go, there's more on the way."
"Thanks," Kagome chirped and with a small turn on her heel, moved back towards the boy. This time she found a jacket the boy could appreciate.
Inuyasha moved and grabbed another box, continuing with his job and helping children find enough winter wear to help them through the cold season. He watched her for the rest of day, mesmerized by the way she could take care of the children.
It wasn't until a coworker gently knocked on his head did he realize he was completely staring at his girlfriend. Clearing his throat he grinned sheepishly at the boy who'd knocked him over the head and continued with his work.
He helped small children find jackets, hats and scarves that they liked. Each one thanked him profusely, and some of the little girls blushed when he smiled at them. He saw many familiar faces from the daycare and day camps that he participated in for minimum wage. He loved children. He hadn't realized how much he loved kids until he actually got to sit down with them, throw basketballs with them, or just romp around with them in the woods behind the YMCA center.
"Thank you Inuyasha," they chirped happily to him. Their parents would bow their heads in thanks or mutter a quick, "Thank you, Mr. Cohen."
It was surreal, having people thank him. After he and Kagome had started working at the YMCA and other centers to help children, he actually felt like he was helping people and helping society instead of being the burden his teenaged self often thought he was. He had a purpose now, or at least he felt like he did.
"Yuck," a small child's voice piped up. He tilted his head and looked down at a small girl digging around in a box. "There's nothing but pink in here. Gross."
"And what's wrong with pink?" Inuyasha chuckled as he knelt down before the girl, digging around the box and extracting a pink scarf. "It's a good color."
The girl stared at him—he recognized her as one of the girl's in Kagome's swimming class. She blinked slowly.
"I hate pink," she said slowly, as if he was too stupid to understand what she was saying to him. "It's a stupid color."
Inuyasha shrugged his shoulder. "I like pink."
"But you're a guy!"
"Why yes, yes I am. But there's nothing wrong with pink," Inuyasha said calmly. And, to demonstrate this truth, he wrapped the pink scarf around his neck and puffed out his chest. The little girl giggled nervously, her bright green eyes staring up at him. He unwrapped it and held it out to her. She hesitantly took it. "Besides, you'd look very cute wearing pink."
The girl hesitantly wrapped a scarf around her neck and stared up at her big sister for approval. The girl nodded and smiled shyly at Inuyasha. Reading his name tag she muttered, "Thank you very much, Inuyasha."
"It's no problem," Inuyasha straightened and arched his back a bit and scratched the back of his neck. "As long as she's warm. Do you want a hat or something?"
The girl blushed and shook her head. "No, I'm fine."
He watched her go and caught Kagome's eye. The girl had been watching and she smiled at Inuyasha, silently congratulating him on a job well done.
As Christmas rolled near, the two were stuck at the center helping separate gifts on the wish lists of needy families. It was something their center ran every year. There would be a large, fake tree near the front of the center with different slips of paper tied to it. On each there was a name and age and a wish for something the family member would want for Christmas. Families that visited the center could take one of the cards and thus become responsible for that gift. Once purchased and wrapped, the gift would be returned to be handed out Christmas Eve when the volunteers at the YMCA would go to the houses and drop off the presents.
Currently, Inuyasha and Kagome were responsible for sifting through the presents and organizing them for each family. There were ten families in all that the YMCA center was responsible for.
Inuyasha let out a small sigh and rolled up the sleeves of his button down shirt as he worked. Strands of silver hair fell over his face only to be brushed aside carelessly. He glanced up towards Kagome, who was intent in finishing before it got too late. She must have felt his gaze on her, however, because she lifted her head and met his eyes.
Blue eyes stared at him for a long moment before she offered a tentative smile. "Something the matter?"
"No," he said with a shake of his head. "Just looking at you."
She blushed at his words and sputtered for a moment, searching for something to say. Finding no words, she simply smiled at him, her cheeks bright red and returned to her work. "Well, you shouldn't."
"And why not?" Inuyasha questioned, one eyebrow cocking towards his hairline. He enjoyed harassing Kagome like this. He knew she really didn't mind the attention but he enjoyed seeing her become flustered.
She didn't look up. "You have work to do."
Inuyasha sighed melodramatically and rolled his eyes towards the ceiling high above them. "Kagome," he whined, "Don't be such a prude."
Kagome sent him a mock glare and he clamped his lips shut as he tried to contain a large grin. She shook her head gently and tossed a wrapped package into a large box. Crossing her arms she rotated on her spot on the ground and looked at him crossly. Despite the determined look in her eyes, Inuyasha could see the small smile threatening to quirk her lips upwards.
"Yes?" he questioned innocently, batting his eyes as she continued to stare at him. "Kagome," he said with a small laugh, "I know you like to stare at me, but please, be more subtle than that."
With a small squeak of embarrassment as his words, Kagome lowered her gaze to the gymnasium floor immediately.
"Jerk," he heard her mutter. He laughed.
They went back to work and no words were passed save for the few terms of endearment from Kagome whenever Inuyasha shot a childish facial expression her way.
Anyone watching them would have questioned their maturity. Where couples their age usually diligently worked, chatting conversationally, Inuyasha spent the majority of his time tossing stray bits of paper crumbled into balls towards Kagome's head while Kagome shook her fist at him threateningly.
Amid the crumbled balls of paper, the funny faces, the insults and the teasing, however, no one could deny the love the two shared for one another. In the wake of their teasing, their smiles could light up the darkest room. They almost acted like preschoolers who discovered that one of their classmates had a crush on them.
"Hey," Inuyasha batted a wad of paper Kagome had thrown back at him. Kagome giggled. He held out his hand as a shower of stray paper descended upon him. "Hey," he repeated, waiting for Kagome's attention, "I think there are some extra wishes on the tree in the front."
Kagome sighed. "It's a shame that some kids won't get what they want."
"Well, there's some time left," Inuyasha reminded. "Go check to see what's there, that way we can figure out whether we can throw something together."
Kagome nodded and stood up, stretching her arms above her head and moving towards the doors at the end of the room. Inuyasha snickered as he chucked a wad of wrapping paper at Kagome's back. She turned around and gave him a mock glare again before exiting the room.
Kagome moved through the YMCA center wrapping her arms over her chest to keep the chill out. The heating system had broken down a couple of weeks ago and had yet to be fixed. Needless to say, Kagome found herself freezing the majority of the time.
She approached the tree to find that it was almost completely bear. For a brief moment, Kagome believed that it was simply empty and that Inuyasha had played a trick on her, as he was often prone to do. Growling her frustration, Kagome stomped towards the fake tree and inspected each faux branch.
"Well," she muttered to herself. "When I get back I'll have to throw something that is not paper."
Straightening, she prepared to leave when she spotted one of the paper ornaments near the top of the tree. Clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, Kagome stood on the tips of her toes and reached out her hand for it. Stretching with all her might and praying to some unknown deity for her to magically grow a couple of inches, Kagome's fingers barely grazed the ornament.
"Oh all the stupid…" she muttered to herself, daring to jump a bit to reach the paper hanging from the branch. Her hand fisted around the flimsy paper and crushed it in her hold. Landing with a large thud, Kagome backed away fro the tree and unclenched her hand.
She unfolded the paper and read the name for the wisher. "Inuyasha Cohen," she whispered to herself, then paused. Her eyes narrowed and she frowned. "You've got to be kidding me?"
Inuyasha had forced her out of the warmth of the gym—which collected heat throughout the day from the countless numbers of bodies that exercised in it—to grasp a piece of paper far above her head only for it to be some stupid joke from her boyfriend.
She was prepared to crumble the paper again and stuff it down Inuyasha's throat when she came back but his words caught her eye. His handwriting was nearly illegible. Her truculent rage evaporated instantly when she read what he had written.
She turned on her heel and marched back towards the gym, her feet moving quickly over the wooden floor. She slammed the doors open, causing a small, startled jump from the silver-haired man. He turned to her, surprise written on his face as she marched towards him, her jaw set and her blue eyes staring at him unwavering.
Her face looked like it always did seconds before they had one of their ephemeral fights. The majority of the time it was a misunderstanding or Inuyasha had done something to upset Kagome, and it was usually resolved within minutes of her tirade of his inconsiderate nature or his disregard for feelings. Then Inuyasha would explain himself, Kagome would blush and apologize for overreacting and he'd forgive her. A few days later, he'd freak out and she'd have to explain herself. It was a vicissitude of feelings. It was a constant cycle, it seemed, though it happened seldom.
It seemed that Kagome was looking for a parley, and Inuyasha was prepared to give it to her. For a brief moment he feared that she hadn't found his carefully located ornament. He'd placed it near the top so that the volunteers wouldn't find it and leave it unattended. Perhaps even Kagome hadn't seen it, seeing as how she was shorter than the majority of the teenaged volunteers that worked here. Inuyasha swore to himself that those kids were giants. Kagome never listened to him when he insisted on this theory.
Her bottom lip quivered as she approached Inuyasha, her blue eyes wide with disbelief.
"Kagome…" He found himself standing and moving towards her. Kagome stared at him. The look in her eyes dissolved away and Inuyasha couldn't place the expression on her face. "Are you okay?"
She nodded her head quickly, her black hair bobbing on her shoulders. She dove forward, her arms wrapping around his neck as she placed her head on his chest. She was soothed by the gentle thud of his heart in his chest as she squeezed him tight.
She felt his arms encircle her. She felt reassurance spread through her and knew she was protected in his arms. She lifted her head, blue locking with gold and clashing together in a fiery gaze. She squeezed his shoulders, her fingers lacing through the stray locks of silver hair that fell past his chin.
His lips parted as he attempted to speak but were silenced by Kagome standing on the tips of her toes to reach him and pressing her lips against his. When she pulled away, her cheeks were her customary bright pink.
As she pulled away a shaking hand opened to reveal the clump of paper she'd found at the top of the tree. She stared at him, her lips quivering again, whether from the cold or the excitement, Inuyasha wasn't sure.
"I think…" she whispered, her voice barely audible. He took a step towards her, his arms expending to take hers. He gripped the underside of her forearm and her small, delicate hands grazed the crook of his elbow. She licked her lips nervously. "I think… your wish can be arranged."
Instantly his worried expression evaporated and was replaced with his dazzling smile that could melt the hardest of ice. Kagome felt the familiar tug on her heartstrings and her legs begin to shake.
"You do, do you?" he whispered, his eyes glowing in the near darkness of the empty room. The golden depths studied her face, as if he were hesitant to believe what he was hearing. "Well then…" He leaned forward and kissed her nose. "I guess we'll have to grant it."
Kagome nodded and as they embraced again the crumbly, dirty piece of paper fell from her hand and fluttered to the ground. It swept through the air like a graceful butterfly before landing silently on the floor.
Scribbled there, in Inuyasha's shaky, nervous handwriting Inuyasha's wish was written. He'd been nervous the day he'd written it, causing his hand to shake and flutter over the paper stupidly. His already atrocious handwriting had become pure chicken scratch.
The card was simple. Printed on it was Name and My Wish. It was a simple layout. The child wrote their name and wish before hanging it on the tree.
Written on Inuyasha's card, almost illegible was his name. Beneath his quivering name and beside My Wish were two simple words that captured Kagome's heart and instilled a frenzied attempt to discover if it were true:
Author's notes: All right, there you go. Broken Glass is completed, finally. After thirty chapters… and to think this story originally was only going to be five chapters long. Eh heh. Thank you every single one of you who read my story and reviewed. I love you all!