Disclaimer: All characters from Inuyasha are owned by Rumiko Takahashi, but this story belongs to me.

The Hunt

Inuyasha cursed Sango. Whatever powder she had used on him was blocking his sense of smell, keeping him from his prey. He tried sniffing again. Nothing but that sickening sweet scent that overwhelmed his senses. He snarled, vowing to get even with her.

Lack of smell wouldn't keep him from his goal.

He would find her.

The dog demon dropped low to the ground, surveying the area. Three sets of footprints, four counting the kit's, spread out around the clearing. Glowering he studied where the smallest set of human prints were. She had raced frantically. No goal in mind. Running blindly.

He grinned. Good. Panic will make her make mistakes.

Closing his eyes, Inuyasha listened. Really listened. He filtered through the sounds of the forest until he could hear the breathing and heartbeats of three people. Three? There should be four. Inuyasha snapped his eyes open and growled again.

The monk was hiding her behind a barrier.

Sango took away his sense of smell, now Miroku was hindering his hearing. What was left? His strength alone wouldn't locate her. His speed was useless until he spotted her. His lips twisted into an evil smirkā€¦ WHEN he spotted her. He would find her, after all. There was no way she was reaching the well. NO WAY. She was HIS.

Suddenly he saw a flash of green and white. Kagome was making a break towards the well! Quickly Inuyasha spun around and darted after her. Just as quickly he skidded to a halt. That BRAT would have to remember to hide his tail next time he decides to take on Kagome's form.

She must be getting nervous if Shippo was being sent out as bait. He must be close.

Prowling around the clearing he looked more canine than man. She was hiding just beyond the clearing, but he couldn't tell which direction. He sent murderous thoughts towards the monk and the demon slayer. It was their fault he couldn't detect her.

He closed his eyes. They had taken away most of his senses, but there was one that they couldn't take away. He listened with his soul, his heart. And suddenly he could feel her. Somehow he could feel the girl. He smirked. This game was almost over. He would be victorious.

Inuyasha turned to the right slightly, his eyes locating her position hidden behind thick brush. He sprang in her direction.


Skidding to a stop, he barely managed to dodge the bone boomerang. He turned long enough to scowl at Sango before taking off in Kagome's direction.

"Run Kagome!" the monk yells. "Wind Tunnel!""

The strong wind threatens to sweep Inuyasha off of his feet. Cursing he thrust his sword into the dirt and held on. Momentarily his eyes flashed red, then he leapt into the air towards Miroku. With one blow he knocks the monk unconscious.

There was no time to gloat over his small victory, after all, there was still a schoolgirl to catch.


Pop pop pop pop!

Suddenly there were a dozen Kagome's running through the clearing. Keh, useless idiot fox. Without the barrier I can hear which one has a heartbeat.

And that heart was racing.

Quickly he picked out the real Kagome and gave chase, once more dodging the bone boomerang.

Two and a half years of running through the Feudal Era might have made Kagome fast, but not as fast as a determined hanyou. Within seconds he had caught up to her. He tackled her from behind, watching in satisfaction as her fingers barely missed the safety of the well.


"You lose," he breathed into her ear. "I win."

Kagome huffed and pushed at the dog demon to get him off of her. But it is nearly impossible to move a hanyou who doesn't want to move. And just at that moment, he was perfectly happy sitting on her stomach.

"Yes! You win! Now get off of me!"

Reluctantly Inuyasha moved off of her stomach and sat beside her.

"Now what?" he asked.

He watched as Kagome stood up and brushed the dirt and grass off of her skirt.

"Now, it's my turn. I'm IT. You guys hide and I'll count to twenty."

"No peeking!" Inuyasha warned, much in the same way she had warned him a few minutes earlier.

With a light heart, possibly from the thrill of winning, Inuyasha dashed away. He watched as Sango hid, and Miroku hid suspiciously close to her. He also noted where Shippo went. The kit wasn't trying to hard to hide. Obviously he wanted to be the first one Kagome found.

He listened to Kagome count and smiled. He was actually enjoying himself. He wasn't worrying about jewel shards or revenge. He was playing.

"Twenty! Ready or not, here I come!"

Inuyasha kept his eyes trained on her as she scanned the trees and rocks. He was enjoying the game she called 'Combat Hide and Seek'. She had told him that they had played a tamer version of the game when she had been a child.

This wasn't the first game Kagome had introduced him to. She taught him how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors, where she teamed up with him and Shippo against Sango and Miroku. She had taught him how to play Go Fish and Old Maid. Kagome brought fun into his life. More fun than he had ever imagined.

There were no games for a young orphaned hanyou who had to spend all of his energy to just survive. A half-breed hated by everyone, accepted by no one. Even the woman who spoke of spending her life with him so long ago hadn't accepted him for what he was. But Kagome did.

Kagome loved him as a hanyou. She told him that once. They didn't talk about the kiss at Kaguya's castle or how he almost lost the human part of himself. They didn't talk about her confession of love or his promise to stay a half-demon a little longer for her. But sometimes at night, over the campfire, he could see her remembering. Unfortunately, Inuyasha frowned, he was much better with his sword and claws than with words and emotions.

A high pitched squeal brought his attention back to the present. Shippo had been found. Not that the kit had been hard to find with his bright colored tail sticking out from behind the rock, twitching.

The kit had it easy. He was allowed to express his love for the miko with gusto. Inuyasha was jealous. Not so much of the attention the kit received, but by how easy the runt made showing emotions look. He glared over to where Miroku and Sango sat. Those two don't make it any easier. Their undisguised attempts at getting him to admit his feelings to Kagome just made things all the more awkward.

Miroku's wandering hand and Sango's automatic response made them easy for Kagome to find. Inuyasha smiled when he heard her laughter.

That was something else she brought him. Laughter.

Silently he moved to a position where he could watch her more closely. She was hunting for him. She was trying to use her pathetic human hearing to listen for him. Then she closed her eyes.

Inuyasha watched as her face lit up into a smile and looked in his direction.

He was dumbfounded. She sensed him?

Leaping into the clearing he shook his fist at her. "You cheated! You used your stupid miko powers!"

She laughed merrily. "Didn't hear that as part of the rules, dog boy. You're mine now!"

Inuyasha jumped back as she lunged for him, unable to stop his grin. Hers huh? Another jump back and he darted towards the well, home base Kagome called it.

He looked back to see her chasing him.

Maybe, he thought to himself, maybe I'll let her catch me.