Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. He is the property of Rumiko Takahashi, puppy ears and all. And, although I do own a copy of the cd, I do not own the lyrics to Austin. They are owned by Blake Shelton - though if anyone knows where I could get one of him...


I Still Love You


Based on the lyrics to Austin by Blake Shelton.


Inuyasha,

I'm sorry about last night. You know I hate fighting with you, but after everything I think we both need some space to clear our minds. I need to take the time to really forgive you and try to trust you again. I'll call you when I thin k I'm ready and we can see where we go from there - if this is what we both still want.

Love,

Kagome

Inuyasha crumbled the note and threw it at the living room wall and fell onto the sofa, running a hand through his long dark hair. He'd been trying to call her cell phone for over two hours and hadn't gotten any reply. He figured she'd disconnect it first chance she got and she hadn't left another number.

She's probably gone off to Kyoto to stay with Sango. They're always talking about how they should spend more time together. He sighed and closed his eyes. There was no way Sango would let him talk to her if that were true. She was still pissed about the whole Kikyo ordeal.

Damn! He should have never run around behind Kagome's back like that. It was no wonder she left him. But he'd promised Kikyo they'd stay friends and he had thought he and Kagome had moved passed that.

Guess I was wrong.

The house phone rang and he dashed to it, thinking it was her, only to be disappointed when Miroku's voice came over the line. "So, Rin said she saw you and Kikyo at Machiavelli yesterday during lunch. What's going on, man? I thought the two of you were over."

Inuyasha puffed a long, drawn out sigh. "We are over. We're just friends, geez. She called me yesterday at work and said she needed to talk. She said she was having problems with her boyfriend and needed a friendly shoulder to cry on, so I met her for lunch. What's the big deal?"

"You didn't tell Kagome about it. Did you?" Miroku asked in a knowing voice. "Dude, haven't you screwed up enough?"

He gave a dry laugh. "Apparently not." He sank into a chair and leaned his head back, closing his eyes. "No, I didn't tell Kagome. I didn't want to upset her, but I never dreamed Kikyo would call the house knowing I was at work."

"She's a manipulative bitch. Hadn't you figured that out already? What'd she tell Kagome?"

"Nothing too obvious of course. Just that she wanted to thank me for a wonderful lunch and see if she could get my new cell number. Just enough to make Kagome suspicious.." He scowled. "And before you ask, no, I'm not fucking her. I learn from my mistakes, unlike some people."

Miroku laughed. "I deserved that, I suppose. So, what happened? You two fought, obviously, but then what?"

"She left. She packed her shit and left."

"When? Where'd she go?"

"Hell if I know. Sometime last night, I guess. She kicked me out of the bedroom and when I woke up this morning there was a note saying she needed to clear her mind. That's it. Just that she needed to clear her mind. She didn't leave a number or an address or anything."

Miroku whistled through his teeth. "Sorry. You think she's with Sango? I mean, they do spend a lot of time together. They've been wanting to get together ever since Sango moved out and to Kyoto."

He shrugged. "Probably. Thanks to you after a few days with Sango, Kagome'll never want to see me again."

There was a long pause over the line and Miroku gave a nervous chuckle. "Well, I'd love to chat some more, but I really gotta get some things done..."


Kagome unlocked the door to her apartment and kicked her shoes off. "Oh my gosh! My feet are killing me!" She exclaimed and tossed the red heels in a closet.

Sango laughed and closed the door behind her. "You're the one that decided stilettos would be a good choice for today." She tossed her own heels into the closet and pulled the pins from her hair. "There's a group of us going to the karaoke bar tonight. You in?"

Kagome shook her head and walked behind the kitchen bar, grabbing a bottle of soda from the mini fridge and tossed another to Sango. "Nah. I think I'm just going to stay in tonight and relax. I'll probably do a facial and mani/pedi." She grinned. "You should stay in with me - we could give each other spa treatments."

The other girl shook her head. "I don't think so. Jenenji and Jakotsu had a bet going at work. Whichever one lost had to perform in front of the crowd tonight instead of in the private box. I can't wait to see Jakotsu's rendition of Madonna."

Kagome grinned. "Like a virgin," she sang into the top of her coke bottles, "touched for the very first time! Oh!" She Boy George'd across the room and nearly spilled her coke.

Both girls laughed and went to their separate rooms to change; Sango into something appropriate for a club and Kagome into her comfortable pajamas. Kagome was already curled up on the couch when Sango came back out and sat on the couch arm.

"Seriously, Kag-chan, you should go with us. You hardly go out at all." She touched her friend's shoulder. "Kouga was asking about you today. He said you hardly said three words the last time the two of you went to dinner and he hasn't heard from you since. That was three months ago."

Kagome shrugged. "He's just not my type," she explained. "I mean, he's a great guy and all, but I'm not attracted to him."

"Is it because of Inuyasha?" Sango's features softened and she gave her a sympathetic look. "It's been a year, Kagome. You should have gotten over him by now."

"I am over him, I just don't feel like dating, okay?"

Standing, Sango grabbed her jacket and went for the front door. "Good 'cause I'm sure he's over you. I wouldn't be surprised if Kikyo helped him with it either." She ignored the way Kagome's jaw clenched. "Call Kouga. Make a date with him. Get on with your life."

She was gone before Kagome could argue.

"So what if he is with Kikyo," she muttered and grabbed the phone and phonebook, flipping through the pages. "It's not like we're together anymore. For her information I have gotten on with my life. This just happens to be the way I like it."

As if they had a mind of their own, her fingers dialed a number she thought she'd long ago forgotten. After three long rings, Inuyasha's voice drifted to her from the answering machine and she sighed. Probably out with Kikyo...

"If you're calling 'bout the car, I sold it."

She frowned. He couldn't be talking about the mustang, could he? Inuyasha loved that car. Probably more than he'd ever loved her or Kikyo. What on earth would possess him to sell it?

"If this is Tuesday night, I'm bowling."

Bowling? Since when did Inuyasha bowl? Oh yeah, Miroku. She'd forgotten the lecher had taken up the sport just before she'd left. He'd probably talked Inuyasha into joining him.

"If you've got something to sell, you're wasting your time. I'm not buying. If it's anybody else, wait for the tone, you know what to do."

She reached to hang up, not in the mood to leave a message and not knowing what she'd say anyway, but his last words caught her attention.

"P.S. if this is Kagome, I still love you."

The phone slid from her hands and bounced on the carpeted floor. Of all the things he might have said, she had not been expecting that.

Recovering a small part of her mind, she scooped up the receiver and hit the 'off' button. Her eyes drifted shut and she concentrated on taking deep breaths. What man would hang on for so long? Had she really been that blind? Had he really loved her that much, so much that even after a year, he was still waiting for her to come back?

And how did she feel about him?

Kagome crawled onto her bed, lying on her stomach, and dug a photo frame from under the bed. It was a picture of her and Inuyasha at the park in Tokyo. Her arms were around his neck and he had held the camera out at arms length to capture both of them while she kissed his cheek.

Inuyasha...


The next three days had passed in a blur and she hadn't been able to concentrate. She hadn't told Sango about her phone call to Inuyasha because she needed time to contemplate where she stood on her feelings for him. Was she truly over him as she had said or was her heart still holding out for him?

Finally, three nights later, Sango had again gone out with a group of co-works and Kagome had stayed home alone. As soon as the door was closed, she had grabbed the phone and dialed. Still unsure of what she was going to say or do, she could only hope that Inuyasha would give her the chance to figure it out.

Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

"If it's Friday night, I'm at the ball game and first thing Saturday, if it don't rain, I'm headed out to the lake and I'll be gone all weekend long. But I'll call you back when I get home on Sunday afternoon. And P.S. if this is Kagome, I still love you."

Kagome took a deep breath and waited for the tone. She recited the apartment number and hung up, not saying another word. If he called her back the next day, she would explain things. Hopefully by then she would have figured out how.


Inuyasha threw his overnight bag in a chair and hit the play button on his answering machine. The past two days had been the most relaxing he'd had in nearly a year and he almost regretting having to come back from the cabin.

"It's Miroku. Call me as soon as you get in, bro. I met these two fine ass women and get this, their sisters. I figured me and you and -" he hit the delete button and rolled his eyes. Some people never changed.

"Baby, it's Kikyo -" he hit the delete button again, scowling at the machine. Kikyo had been the reason Kagome left him and he hadn't spoken to her since that day.

"Oh...uh...555-459-2394..."

Well, that was interesting. He replayed the message and jotted the number on a notepad and went to shower.

When he reemerged, he picked up the phone and paused. He really wasn't that interested in Miroku's sisters, but he would call him back eventually. First, however, he intended to find out who that number had belonged to.


Kagome dove for the phone and checked the caller id. On the third ring she took a deep breath and answered. "If you're calling 'bout my heart, it's still yours. I should've listened to it a little more. Then it wouldn't have taken me so long to know where I belong. And, by the way boy, this is no machine you're talking to. Can't you tell? This is Kagome and I still love you."

She waited and was met by only silence. Seconds slid by and she began to wonder if he'd even stayed on the line long enough to hear what she'd had to say. She'd planned it all night too.

"Kagome?" He barely breathed her name.

"Yeah."

She could hear him exhale a deep breath. "I was beginning to think you'd never call."

She gave a nervous laugh. "I didn't plan to but then I meant to call a friend on Tuesday night and I ended up dialing you and hearing your message on the machine...I was too shocked to say anything...I thought it was a mistake or something, but when I called again Saturday..." She trailed off. "Inuyasha? Did you really mean it?"

He smiled, knowing she'd hear it in his voice. "Of course I meant it. I kept hoping you'd call and I wanted to make sure you knew I hadn't forgotten you, even if I wasn't home."

Her breath caught in her throat and she closed her eyes as the first drops rolled down her cheek. "Oh, Inuyasha, I'm so sorry! I'm surprised you don't hate me for leaving the way I did...I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take not trusting you and arguing with you. I hated it. I hated it so much."

"No, don't cry. I hate it when you cry, you know." He ached to put his arms around her and brush her tears away. "It's okay, all of it. I don't blame you for not trusting me. Hell, I probably would've felt the same way if the situation was reversed, but Kagome, you have to believe me, I've always loved you. I don't know what got into me, but I never stopped loving you and I never will."

She sniffled and wiped her own eyes with the back of her hand. "I don't care about that anymore. It's not that important to me now."

"She's gone, Kagome. I haven't spoken to her since the night you left. I changed cell numbers so she couldn't call me and I made sure my secretary knows she isn't to be allowed near my office and I'm not taking any calls from her," he told her seriously. "She calls the house sometimes and leaves messages, but I don't return her calls. The only reason I haven't changed the house number is because I wanted you to be able to reach me. I want to earn your trust again."

Kagome broke into a new fit of sobs and buried her face in her pillow. "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I wanna come home...I wanna be with you...I want to come home...I want to come home. Please, let me come back."

"Shhh...Hey now, stop that...it's gonna be okay." He glanced at the clock and then ran his hand through his bangs. "Look, I know it's late, but I bet I can still get a train to Kyoto. I can leave tonight and be there early tomorrow morning. How's that sound? Then I can help you pack up and we can come back here...or we can stay in Kyoto and get an apartment there. Whatever you want to do."

She started to calm down again and wiped her eyes once more. "Can I come back home with you?"

He smiled. "Of course."

"And Inuyasha?"

"Hmm?"

"I still love you."