Authors Note: Each of the chapters in this story will be inspired by a song. I know that some of these songs have already been used in various fics, but these songs lead my story down a far different path – and it isn't a song fic, so to speak, but snippets of a whole story inspired by a series of songs.

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will I own, Inyasha or any of the characters within.

Chapter One: Behind These Hazel Eyes : Kelly Clarkson

Seems like just yesterday

You were a part of me

I used to stand so tall

I used to be so strong

Your arms around me tight

Everything, it felt so right

Unbreakable, like nothin' could go wrong

Now I can't breathe

No, I can't sleep

I'm barely hanging on

Here I am, once again

I'm torn into pieces

Can't deny it, can't pretend

Just thought you were the one

Broken up, deep inside

But you won't get to see the tears I cry

Behind these hazel eyes

I told you everything

Opened up and let you in

You made me feel alright

For once in my life

Now all that's left of me

Is what I pretend to be

So together, but so broken up inside

'Cause I can't breathe

No, I can't sleep

I'm barely hangin' on

Here I am, once again

I'm torn into pieces

Can't deny it, can't pretend

Just thought you were the one

Broken up, deep inside

But you won't get to see the tears I cry

Behind these hazel eyes

Swallow me then spit me out

For hating you, I blame myself

Seeing you it kills me now

No, I don't cry on the outside


Here I am, once again

I'm torn into pieces

Can't deny it, can't pretend

Just thought you were the one

Broken up, deep inside

But you won't get to see the tears I cry

Behind these hazel eyes

Here I am, once again

I'm torn into pieces

Can't deny it, can't pretend

Just thought you were the one

Broken up, deep inside

But you won't get to see the tears I cry

Behind these hazel eyes

Kagome sighed as she walked through the forest, towards the hot spring that they had passed earlier that day. Inuyasha had once again urged the group onwards at a pace that wearied even the hanyou, but they pressed onward in pursuit of Shikon shard.

Kagome was beginning to severely dislike the Shikon no tama. It ruled her life now. Her mother, seeing how weary Kagome was becoming with shard hunting and finishing her classes, gave her permission to postpone college, and entrance exams until the Shikon was complete. She had also told Kagome to focus her time in the feudal era, and once a month her mother would place new supplies inside the well house, for Kagome or Inuyasha to pick up as needed. It sped things up a lot, and allowed Kagome more time in the past with her friends, but it also meant that she had more time to notice things about Inuyasha. That was why she now headed to the hot spring that evening, in spite of the fact that everything in her body told her to just curl into a ball and sleep – the morning would bring better things, it had to.

No one would deny that Inuyasha cared for Kagome. At one point Kagome had even hoped that Inuyasha had loved her. She could not say that she aspired for that now.

Kagome paused in her thoughts, reaching the hot spring. The dark shadows of the trees bathed the spring turning the water into a clear black pool. Kagome slipped from her miko garb, garb she had adopted because of its ease of travel, and placed a clean yukata by her miko garb to change into for sleeping. She had not come to bathe this evening, she had merely come to think. The hot spring was the only place that she could get peace – and tonight even Miroku would not invade the peace of the young miko. Kagome was not very worried about the monk, however. After Sango had agreed to bear the monk's children, his attentions towards women other than Sango had significantly decreased. It made Kagome happy to see two of her dearest friends happy and in love. It also made her envious, but that was a side of herself that she allowed no one to see.

This evening had been a repeat of events that happened far too often. Kagome had been the focus of the attack by Naraku's minions that day. Naraku's strategy in battle had recently changed, and he focused all of his energies on wounding and incapacitating the young miko. He never tried to kill her – oh no, his purposed were far to sinister for that, and he had things planed for the young miko. The fight had been long hard, and despite all their best efforts, the entire group sported injuries of some sort. Inuyasha, upon noticing the wound to Kagome's arm, scolded her, sweeping her up into an embrace. He didn't see her wince in pain as he crushed her wounded arm to her body, crushing her against him, all he noticed was the way she relaxed in his arms.

"Don't ever do that again!" Inuyasha growled loudly as he swept her into him embrace.

"Thank Kami you are alright." He had whispered against her cheek, his face pressed to hers, his head buried in her dark hair. In that moment Kagome thought, for an instant, the he might begin to develop the feeling for her that she so long harbored for him.

In his arms Kagome had felt safe, the battle ground around them faded away, and Kagome felt a peace that had not been with her since before the Shikon no Tama had been shattered. For a moment Kagome felt loved.

But then there had been a feeling – a tugging at her soul and Inuyasha had stiffened. Kagome steeled her self for the inevitable chain of events that was to come.

"Go to her, Inuyasha. Do not make her wait."

Kagome had stepped back from Inuyasha, a smile on her face, her voice was soft, and she hid all the pain inside.

"I will see to the wounds of the others."

Inuyasha had stared at her for a long moment, and as her ran towards Kikyo, Kagome locked gazes with the undead miko – a feeling flowing from one to the other, through the common link of Kagome's soul. They were different people, and through the commonality of Kagome's soul, they knew when the other was present, and if they tried hard, they could feel the others presense. Kagome and Kikyou both used this to their advantage when fighting Naraku, and the connection was a secret link between the two of them, allied against the evil force that they both despised, and allied in love for the man that they both wished to have. They both loved the hanyou, and Kagome knew that Kikyo would always be the one that he would go to. Kikyou and Kagome were both saddened by this, for they both harbored the fear that the hanyou would choose one over the other, that they would loose him to the other.

Kagome nodded to Kikyo, a sad smile on her face.

I will give him to you. Her nod said. He is yours. I cannot live like this anymore, not in the shadow of his affections for you. Not in the shadow of your presence in his life.

I thank you. I will find you later. We have much to discuss, sister. the small smile on Kikyo's face had said in return as Inuyasha swept the undead miko up into a tight hug, pressing her against a tree as he buried his head in her hair. Kikyo's gaze did not leave Kagome's as Inuyasha swept her up into the embrace, and for a moment identical sadness was reflected in the eyes of the two miko's who were linked together, past and future, reflections of the same soul.

Kagome had turned away, the sting of tears sharp in her eyes and walked towards Sango and Miroku.

Sango had demanded to know where the baka hanyou had gone, though there was no question from the sadness that laced Kagome's eyes, despite the bright smile that covered Kagome's face.

"To where he belongs."

Kagome had smiled at her friends, rifling through her discarded backpack for bandages and all conversation had ceased. When Kagome has said that she wished to take a bath that evening, alone, no one, not even Inuyasha had argued. Kikyo must have told him.

As Kagome immersed herself into the water, she allowed the tears to freely flow from her eyes, mixing with the steam and hot water of the hot spring, hiding her silent grief from eyes that did not care enough to spy.

Kagome would be strong. She had no right to be upset with Inuyasha for loving Kikyo. She was his first love. He would always love her. Kagome would not, and could not stand in the way of that. Too many years of being second to Kikyo had worn away the strength of the young miko. She was herself, not a copy as Inuyasha constantly reminded her. She and Kikyo might share a soul, and Kagome might be the reincarnation of the priestess, but that did not make Kagome Kikyo – they had differences and were two different people. Kagome could never measure up to Kikyo. Inuyasha constantly reminded her of her failing and pointed out where Kikyo excelled.

The tears flowed faster now, and quiet sobs could be heard in the forest, if one cared enough to listen for them. Kagome had to give Inuyasha up, before she herself broke. She could no longer stand to be in the shadow of Kikyo—always second best. Kagome had to be selfish for once, and do something for herself. That meant giving Inuyasha to Kikyo.

"I need to go home, to train." Kagome sighed. Inuyasha would not like it. He did not like to let his precious shard detector leave for too long.

Kagome felt the familiar presence of Kikyo, and smiled slightly as the dead miko settled down next to the spring, on a rock near where Kagome bathed. "I have missed our conversations, Kikyo."

"He is worried about you."

"I did not intend on taking his attention from you, Kikyo. You have my apologies." Kagome's voice was soft.

"Do you really give him up, Kagome?" Kikyo's voice was hesitant. She could feel the conflict that Kagome felt, knew that everything in Kagome wished for Inuyasha's love – it was a feeling she herself felt far too often.

"I must. I cannot endure being in the shadow always. I am myself, just as you are yourself. We have both come to realize that. Inuyasha cannot. He only feels he cares for me because his feelings for me as an extension of his feelings for you. You were dead, and I was the reincarnation. Of course he began to care for me, I was all that he had left of you. But since you are here – I cannot compete. And I no longer wish to." Kagome paused. "You have no reason to lbelive me Kikyo, but I will not take him from you. I do ask, however, one thing."

Kikyo inclined her head to the side, looking a Kagome as her soul stealer hovered in the clearing.

"Give me time to go home, and find a way to restore your soul to you, without killing me. Then you will no longer have to drag him to hell with you. I will find a way to give the two of you the life that Naraku stole from you both. Please don't kill him, Kikyo."

"He will not let you do this. He is willing to sacrifice himself to me to make amends."

"I know he is, but if I can find a way to fix things, making amends is unneeded, is it not? You have forgiven him, and he has forgiven you."

"What shall you tell him?"

"The truth. That I am not feeling like myself, and need to go home to rest. You could travel with them, and get to know them, if you wish. They know of my decision to give him to you."

"When shall you leave for the future?"

"Tomorrow morning we should start to head back towards the well. I will tell Inuyasha when we are too close for him to change his mind about the direction in which we travel." Kagome stood, moving from the water and dried herself off with a towel, slipping the yukata over her damp body. "Will you come back to camp with me Kikyo? I grow tired of only talking with you during the night in secret. We have reached an understanding, and you are an ally, you have been an ally to us for a long time. I wish for them to know this. I want them to know that it is ok with me that you are there – so they treat you well. I want there to be peace."

The undead miko nodded, stepping easily in stride behind Kagome as they walked in silence back towards camp.

The group tensed and Kagome and Kikyo stepped into camp, but made no move, as both women were smiling slightly.

"Everyone, Kikyo will be joining us in camp this evening. I hope you will welcome her." Sango and Miroku looked at Kagome startled, but did not argue, they had expected as much. Inuyasha, however, started at the pair with wide eyes.

"Kagome – why are you?"

"Do you wish for me to revoke my invitation to Kikyo-sama, Inuyasha?"

Kagome noticed that Kikyo glanced at her slightly surprised by the use of the title and Kagome just smiled. I wish them to know that I honor you. In moment of stress I might have said unkind things about you. I wish to make it known that those feeling have been put behind us.

Kikyo nodded and Sango looked at Kagome in question.

"Of course I don't—" Inuyasha sputtered. "I just—"

"Accept the gift for what it is, Inuyasha." Kagome smile, and gently pushed Kikyo towards Inuyasha, who smiled up at Kagome.

It has taken much convincing from both Sango and Kikyo to get Inuyasha to agree to let Kagome go home for a while. It seemed that he did not comprehend how much Kagome cared for him, or the strain that seeing Kikyo and Inuyasha together put on her, when she was still very much in love with the hanyou. Once the arguments had died down, Inuyasha had really looked at Kagome, and saw the strain she was under. But he did not connect it to his own actions. Why would he? She had given her blessing for him to go to Kikyo He blamed in on constant battles, and after some comment about Kagome being weak and always needing protection Kikyo had hit Inuyasha on the shoulder, scolding him for being insensitive and blind, and Kagome had merely smiled weakly.

It's ok, Kiko. I am used to it fro Inuyasha.. I am the shard detector who needs protecting. I am always told that I am not nearly as good a miko as you. Kagome silently talked to Kikyo and the miko looked to Kagome in concern.

He always treats you like this?

Kagome nodded.

I will go home and become strong. I can no longer rely on him to protect me, he will worry about you and protect you, and them I will be on my own. I knew that this day would come, Kikyo. I just need you to help keep him from coming to bring me back until I am ready to come back.

Kikyo had nodded and their silent conversation has ceased.

Kagome wearily pulled herself from the well house and walked with slow steps back from her home. Her mother leaned on the doorframe to the shrine with a smile.

"Kagome-chan, I have been expecting you. I have a letter for you, from an old friend. It is for an offer of training – miko and combat. They said you would know why the offer had come."

Kagome paused, her backpack dropping to the ground.

"They?" Kagome did not dare to guess who would try to contact her – her mind was too stunned. She had only just talked with Kikyo about needed training. "Who?" Her voice was chocked and her mother smiled.

"It is a secret for now, dear. They were very nice though. There was a pair of them. He was very handsome." Her mother moved into the house, after placing the letter in Kagome's hand.

To the miko Kagome:

I know that you are in need of training to accomplish all that you wish to in the past. I have arranged training with the best miko that is currently alive, and have records and books of knowledge from many past mikos. Your miko training will also help to hone your combat abilities, which while improving, still need work. You may refuse if you wish, but the Shikon no tama, and the happened of Inuyasha depend upon this training, do they not?

Attached to the letter was a card, with an address and a time written on it.

"Ten o' clock tomorrow morning, huh?" Kagome smiled. "I wonder who arranged this for me." She stepped into the house, and took her bags upstairs. At least the training would be a distraction from thinking about Inuyasha taking Kikyo into his arms, and whispering the word of love that Kagome longed to hear for herself.