Crossing The Line

A/N: Forgive me for the lack of updates, the chapters have all been pervious typed up just that something always came up the day I plan on posting. I don't own Inuyasha. Thank you everyone for your comments/reviews.

The longest chapter by far no matter how hard I try, it isn't going to shorten up without cutting off a good cliffhanger. Originally this chapter and the next were one in the same but I decided to separate the one chapter into three chapters—amazing huh. Why? Sometimes people tend to get a bit bored by long length stories which I'm guilty of doing especially when it comes to one-shots. This chapter just kept growing and growing! Still after doing so it's pretty long still. Keep the chapter title in mind as you read and thanks, once again, for the reviews.

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Today's Quote: "You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."

Chapter Four: Dream a dreamless dream—I wish.

A lone figure lay in an isolated cave far away from the village. He could not move but he continued to pin for his caretaker.

Where oh where has my beloved Kikyo wandered off to?

An image of the arrogant priestess came to mind, her sober expression, her cold eyes and pale skin.

Ah, how long will you run from me, my love? He smirked, his yellow teeth almost glowing in the dark. Ah but lass, you can't run forever.

"Let me look at it." Kagome grabbed the hanyou by his arm, plopping him forcefully on the ground.

"I'm fine, stop fussing!" Inuyasha blushed for the young woman was practically straddling him.

"Would you stop being so stubborn and let me look after you? Gees, if you don't let me take care of it the wound may get infected!"

"It's fine." He said a little harsher than he had meant. He visibly winced when he saw Kagome's hurt expression.

"It's already healing." Inuyasha said this softly, slightly stuttering as he spoke. "But uh…thanks for worrying."

Kagome looked at Inuyasha's wound as it began to heal before glancing away, unable to look at what her carelessness had caused.

"It's my fault…that you got hurt…I should've been more accurate in my shot…I should have been better at what I'm expected to do. Then you wouldn't have to save me all the time." She whispered, looking down at her lap.

"You naïve little fool," Kikyo glared slightly at Kagome during one of the young woman's training. "If you don't take responsibility for your actions, innocent people will come to suffer."

Kikyo's right. My actions…my feelings for Inuyasha…my inability to help myself…Kagome thought, a tear formed in her brown eyes but she forced them back.

"H-Hey d-don't cry." Inuyasha said instantly.

How he hated it when girls cried. He always felt awkward and panicky when it occurred. Well actually when only Kagome cried. Somehow it brought back memories of his childhood, of his mother and her tears. No other had spilled tears when it came to him, except for Kagome.

"I won't leave him!" Kagome cried.

Even when he was in his transformed state, the little bit of his conscious had remembered that, had held onto that.

Kagome clenched her fists at her sides. It's my fault Inuyasha got hurt…I'm to blame…yet he sits beside me when I caused…I'm such a fool! Good men like him should never bother with me.

"Kagome—"

"Stop." Kagome said and Inuyasha paused in the middle of his sentence. "Just stop protecting me!"

Inuyasha stared at her for a moment, completely taken aback. "I can protect you if I want to, wench. That's the one thing in my life I am sure about." Inuyasha growled. "So don't you—"

"But you can keep doing that one day you'll get really really hurt and…I…wouldn't be able to live with that I…if you killed protecting me…I'd die."

K-Kagome… Inuyasha looked at her and he knew. She truly does mean it. "Kagome…"

"I would!" Kagome nearly shouted.

"I'm made of tougher stuff so I can't die that easily. Stop worrying. I can—"

"Besides, if you keep rescuing me I'll get too dependent. I'll always be waiting for you to come to my rescue like a damsel in distress. But no more…I have to get stronger—on my own. I have to…I just have to." I have to find a way for her love me…

"If you're going to become a priestess you're gonna have to suck it up, Kagome." Kikyo said. "Believe me; I had to do my own share of sucking up."

"You're strong just as you are." This statement brought Inuyasha back when Kagome had asked him what he originally desired the jewel for…

"No I'm not. You always have to protect me because I can't protect myself. You can't deny it. I mean what type of priestess am I if I can't protect myself? I should be able to. B-But I can't…"

"You do. What about your bow and arrows—"

"Oh I protect myself great if I actually hit my target." Kagome sounded annoyed with herself for she said this very sarcastically with a roll of her eyes. "I can't strike a simple bird demon even if it hit me on the face!"

"Quit putting yourself down, that's my job." Inuyasha scolded in a playful manner, surprising them both with this. "Besides that thing was pretty small…Kagome what are you?"

"Look at me…crying…" Kagome said feeling disgusted. Here Inuyasha liked her and she was turning on the waterworks. "I must look l-like such a fool." She muttered, wiping her tears away.

He'll feel that I'm just a silly crybaby, nothing more than a child in a woman's body…or the very least pity me. Kagome hated both possibilities. He won't ever speak to me again…and I'll be all alone—again.

"Keh, believe me, I'd tell you if you look like a fool." His arms were suddenly around her, making the young girl gasp softly. "Good ahead and cry…they say a people feel better when they cry."

"But that makes me weak." Kagome muttered.

"Not to me." He whispered so softly that she had to lean closer to hear.

"Not to me…"

My heart is pounding again…it always does when I'm with him. The young woman shook her head.

No…stop this. He's not mine…never will be…he's in love with Kikyo…but I can't help the way I feel about him. Kagome thought, a memory of not long ago flashed before her.

"People just can't control how they feel about another person, that's just how it is." Doctor Suikotsu had said.

"Really?" Kagome asked. "So one cannot control it…it is truly not in our hands."

"Aye. Lord knows I've tried but I still love her…will always…even if she doesn't love me. Just seeing her is enough for me." He smiled. "I am content just being in her presence. Silly huh…"

"Doctor, a woman would like to see you about her sick son." A village man jogged up to them ending the conversation but not before Kagome had figured out whom that 'her' was.

It wasn't Lady Ayumi…it was Kikyo…always Kikyo.

"What do you mean by that, huh?" Kagome asked trying to sound annoyed.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Inuyasha teased.

"I'd be lying if I said I saw you as only a friend because I can't just think of you as a friend, not anymore. I-I seriously care for you."

"Inuyasha could you…do you—?" Blushing, Kagome stared at him openly when he grinned at her for a moment but snorting.

"Keh, forget it. You're getting worked up about nothing." Inuyasha glanced up. The sun was setting. "You should head back before it gets dark. The forest ain't safe at nightfall."

Kagome nodded and stood up beside him. "Ok but…w-what about you…?"

"I'm use to sleeping outside, remember?" Inuyasha turned to leave. "Don't worry about me, I'm fine."

"But…Inuyasha…" Kagome said softly as she looked at him. "Please would you…could you…?"

"Could I what?" Inuyasha paused, looking back at her.

That night underneath the moonlight in a secluded hut among the village, two lovers embraced. In the dark they removed their clothing quickly and savored the feeling of the other's body on theirs. Their fingers experimentally explored, wanting to please and be pleased at the same time.

Inuyasha ran his tongue against Kagome's neck; his need to be with her was great. His clawed hands ran slowly up her naked thighs sending pleasurable shivers throughout her entire body.

"I love you," Kagome whispered, crying out in passion and arching her back as her lover continued to pleasure and tease her. Her hanyou nibbled playfully along her neck making her gasp softly.

Inuyasha looked down at her, his silver hair spilling all over his tan body. "I…" The hanyou blushed. He was thankful it was too dark for the young woman to see.

"You…" Kagome blinked at him a few times.

"I…I…L-Word you too…" He was blushing as if ashamed that he couldn't say it. As if unsure that she meant the words. It was normal for women to change their minds. "You do understand right?"

Kagome giggled, understanding his male pride. "I love you times too."

Inuyasha glared at her, not necessarily mad, for he enjoyed her teasing. "You won't get me to say it by making it into a challenge."

"Oh, won't you." She tugged playfully at his ears. "Say it." She licked her lower lip. "I love you more,"

"Keh, I love you a whole lot more, wench."

"You said it." Kagome smiled happily. "You said you love me and not 'L-Word'. And no I didn't trick you so you can't use that excuse, mister."

Inuyasha blushed. "Keh, so what if I did. Not like you didn't know beforehand."

"I'm just happy, is all."

Inuyasha glanced down at the floor. "Sorry it took so long."

"That doesn't matter. You meant it didn't you?" She smiled when he nodded. "Then that's all that matters."

"I've always wanted to make you happy…but I can't because I'm a hanyou. Life will be so hard on you and…"

"Being with you is enough. I don't care who or what you are, you know that, don't you?"

Inuyasha nodded.

"Then quit worrying. All that matters is you and me and how much we love each other." Kagome whispered, stroking his ears. "Love is enough. Trust me."

Inuyasha moaned softly, his eyes closing for a moment. "But you're a priestess and I'm a …you know…Kikyo wouldn't—"

"That's Kikyo and I'm Kagome. I love you as a hanyou…and I hope with my love you will come to love yourself as well. I don't want you to change, not one arrogant bone." She finished making her point by kissing him on the tip of his nose.

Inuyasha snorted although he is happy to hear this. I won't ever have to change because Kagome loves me as a hanyou…how I've longed to be loved like this…

"Kagome…" Inuyasha whispered and lowered his lips onto hers.

"Lady Kagome, I hate to wake you but—Good Lord!" A village woman gasped, a look of horror crossed her face before she let out a bloodcurdling scream.

Several people gathered around the pale woman and gaped at the scene before them. The hanyou was over Lady Kagome in the most suggestive way! And if that wasn't bad enough both completely in the nude, were definitely not married!

"He has defiled her!" A village man sneered.

"And she allowed it! A woman shrieked.

"—Hanyou lover!" The young women spat.

"—Disgrace!"

"—Disgusting!"

"Allowing him to do such a thing—dirty whore!"

"We should've killed him as soon as that mother of his died."

"You are no better than the hanyou's mother—you traitorous whore!"

"You're a trifoliate tart!"

Inuyasha could see the same situation he had been trying to avoid, the repeating of his mother's death. He glanced at Kagome. He wouldn't let her die. He wouldn't allow it.

"Burn it down!" Several men chorused. "We must save our families from this sin!"

Kagome screamed when the hut was beginning to burn. The village men kept through sticks that were lit with fire on top of the hut. Inuyasha grabbed Kagome and gave her the top of his fire rat. After making sure she was safely covered, he placed her on his back and jumped, breaking through the hut's roof. The villagers gasped as they saw Inuyasha leaping off into the forest with Kagome.

"After him!" A large man said angrily.

Many village men agreed with a 'yeah,' and got their weapons out of their huts.

From afar, Kikyo watched impassively as they chased the hanyou out of the village. The starting of a bonfire, men yelling and the battle cries didn't bother the priestess in the least.

"Lady Kikyo, will you not going to stop them?" The village doctor asked, coming out of his hut moments ago.

"And meddle in such a thing called 'justice'?" Kikyo said calmly, her brown eyes showed no emotions. "I think not."

"But you cannot mean that, Lady—"

"Do not question my authority. The hanyou deserves more than simple banishment." Kikyo hissed. "and to think I once considered a life with that thing. Funny, it didn't take long for him to show his true colors."

"Surely you speak this because you are hurt."

"Hurt? To be hurt would mean that I had feelings for him. I can assure you it was a relationship of convenience and not that of love."

"But—" He was cut off when he noticed Kikyo was glancing around. Once the woman found a decent horse, she galloped into the forest following the trail of village men.

The doctor watched her go, frowning deeply.

Shit, I can't just attack them. But they're trying to hurt us. I promised my mother I would never attack mortals…but this is a promise I will have to break. Inuyasha thought, dodging the set of arrows.

"As a young babe I've taught you not kill Inuyasha, no matter what." Izayoi whispered to her young son. "But there will come a time when you must ignore my wishes for in this world men seek no peace but violence. If they threaten you or those you love you must defend yourself no matter the consequences might be."

The princess brushed the forelocks of her son's hair gently, her eyes kind and warm. "Don't be afraid of what you are. You are my son, you can do no wrong. But never let hate consume you, Inuyasha."

If they threaten you or those you love…

You must defend yourself…

No matter what the consequences might be…

Inuyasha smiled despite his situation. Thank you mother…

Inuyasha came to a halt, plopping Kagome behind a tree. "No matter what happens I want you to stay put. I will—"

"No!" Kagome held his arm, a look of sadness and anger crossed her face. "I-if they harm you…"

"Forget about me. I'll be fine." Inuyasha said. "But if anything goes wrong…you must promise me you'll run far away from here and never look back." They will kill her without any regards of her status…they will kill her even if she lies about her affections for me.

"Inuyasha don't ask that of me." Kagome whispered. "I couldn't bear to think of a life without you let alone live one."

A flashback came to Inuyasha, a distant memory of his childhood when his father had died protecting him and his mother. How his mother died from a broken heart, not from the sword that slain her. After all she was a skillful fighter, princess or not.

A lump formed in his throat but he swallowed hard. I will not lose her…not today…not ever. Even if it means not being with her…there are always our memories.

Kagome's face showed her determination to stick by him. "I will stay with you—"

"—promise me." Inuyasha shouted, not meaning it to sound so harshly. He pulled her almost roughly to him, holding her close. "Promise me, Kagome." He whispered.

"I…" Kagome stared up at him, tears rolling down her cheeks but she nodded nevertheless. "I promise…"

They'd used a gas that was brought from an infamous demon's slayer village up north that had paralyzed Inuyasha for a good while.

The village man smirked wickedly, sneering and laughing at him as they arched their arrows. The commander snickered before giving the signal.

"Die hanyou!" The village men said in unison, three dozen of them set their arrows flying towards him.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion, even with his demonic abilities he never saw this one coming. One second there was nothing and then the next, Kagome was there before him.

Inuyasha gasped. "K-Kagome…" Kagome had thrown the fire rat in front of him and had taken the blow. Kagome began to slide against his body, slipping away. He held onto her. "Why…I told you to…"

"Don't be stupid. You are my friend. That's what friends do, isn't it. After all, I love you, remember? I'll do anything for you." Kagome offered him a weak smile. She was bleeding. His heart plummeted.

You weren't supposed to die, Kagome. Not for me! Inuyasha thought. The hanyou was struggling with words and the very first time, in a long time, he was nearing tears.

"I-I could've handled it, Kagome." Inuyasha said. "I-I could've survived…why did you have to? …I-I could've…you're so foolish…yet I love you all the same."

"I'd do it again if it would ensure that you will live." Kagome said softly. Her eyes closed, her breathing slowed and stilled.

"K-Kagome?" Realization dawned on him. Kagome is…just like mother…and I…it's all my fault…it's because of me…

"Bitch deserved to die. Too bad the hanyou wasn't willing to share, huh boys." A stocky man said, a few of his followers agreed with perverted laughs.

Inuyasha ran his fingers along Kagome's pale face. Kagome…

Kagome didn't deserve such a brutal death. She deserved to die a death calming when she grew old along with him, sweet but definitely not this!

"You…you bastards…" Inuyasha snarled, clenching his fists.

"What's the matter hanyou? Gonna go cry to your bitch mother about it? Or that whore of yours? Too bad they're dead but we'll help you see them again!" He charged. "—Die Inuyasha!"

Kill them…

Inuyasha's body went still and his eyes grew large. That voice…

Kill them…

"No…it's not right." Inuyasha argued, dodging the villager's attack.

"What are you muttering about, hanyou?" The village man sneered.

Mother said it was all right. Besides its only fair…they took them both away from you…

"But…"

I see. Well maybe Kagome's life meant nothing to you. Maybe they were nothing but—

"That's not true." Inuyasha snapped. "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about!"

Prove it.

"Prove it…" Inuyasha whispered. His demonic side seemed pleased with his willingness. Just a few more pushes and he'd be free again.

Don't you see? They killed the only ones who loved you as a hanyou. Now you're all alone because of them…they killed Kagome…they killed mother…they deserve to die. Avenge them if you love them. Kill for them because you care.

Kill those men…let them suffer…

Kill them.

Kill them!

It was happening again like it always did whenever he felt threatened or whenever harm was brought against someone he loved. A familiar power surged through him as his anger grew.

His body pulsed, his mind clouded and his conscious faded into nothingness. It felt as if something was coming forth, something familiar yet unknown to him. As if this feeling was eating away at his soul, each second he lost more of himself. Yet he welcomed this feeling for it reassured him, dulled the pain and fueled his body with the right emotion to seek his revenge.

His eyes flickered between a light shade of red and gold but as soon as the purple stripes darkened upon his cheeks, his eyes became ruby red. His human heart began to shatter and the hanyou was no more, all that stood before them was a mindless killer. There was no Kagome to bring him back, no kind words to ease the pain. In fact, he wouldn't return to his normal state until he had vengeance, but then why would he afterwards since he knew there'd be nothing left for him.

Inuyasha looked at the unmoving girl's body, his demonic side recognizing her, his rage and desire for these humans' blood became overwhelming. He turned back to the squirming village men and cracked a deadly smile in their direction. Wasting no time he charged and slaughtered the men one-by-one. Those who ran were shredded into chucks of meat, crying out in vain for the gods to spare them.

Inuyasha, in an intimidating manner, licked one of his claws and smirked at the remaining men before vanishing. Silence loomed until one man screamed and when his companions turned around they only saw a pool of blood in the man's place. This repeated until there was only a few left.

The village men were cowering, begging for forgiveness for killing Kagome and for harming him. Inuyasha ignored them and disposed of three more until only six remained. Their fear only pleased Inuyasha all the more. To him revenge never tasted any sweeter.

Inuyasha enjoyed hearing their screams and seeing their blood. Each time another man had died, those painful memories, of seeing both Kagome and his mother's deaths, were became easier to bare. Each death brought him closer to his vengeance; brought him closer to tranquility, brought him closer to those he lost…somehow.

I do this for you. That he thought with the last of his sanity.

"—Inuyasha!" The purifying arrow pierced through the side of his stomach and pinned him to the God Tree.

Inuyasha snarled at Kikyo, his eyes murderous. Just when Kikyo had turned to leave, she heard something snapping, like wood. The priestess turned around and gasped. He had broken from the arrow's hold; his hand reaching to end Kikyo's life. The priestess, too stunned to move, stood there like a dumbfounded fool.

"—Die Witch!" Inuyasha sneered. But before he could kill her another arrow pierced through Inuyasha. Unlike the one from before this one made its mark, Kikyo's original intent—his heart. Inuyasha growled and was flung back onto the God Tree. This spell was more powerful as was the priestess who sealed him there.

"K-Kag…go…me…" Inuyasha was returning to his normal state, the red in his eyes were fading. The hate in them was replaced by confusion and hurt. "W-why…why did you? I thought you—"

Though she struggled to stand with the blood seeping through her kimono, Kagome's eyes were dark and menacing, she even laughed at his expression. Somehow during this whole scene, Kagome's face began to switch between Kikyo and her own. He'd see Kagome's pain stricken face and then Kikyo's cold expression.

"You shouldn't trust so easily, Inuyasha." Kagome said with her voice almost as cold as Kikyo's. "Really now, did you really think I'd really be with a hanyou?"

With a hanyou?

With a hanyou?

Hanyou?

Hurt beyond belief, the hanyou could feel what was left of his heart begin to crumble as the betrayal and hurt became overwhelming. His sweet, accepting Kagome had betrayed him. She had been just like the woman she called 'sister.'

"Kagome…you said you love me." Inuyasha said, hoping that she'd tell him she still loves him and it was all a misunderstanding.

"Did I?" Kagome scoffed. "Silly man, what woman could honestly love you?"

K-Kagome betrayed me…Inuyasha thought. She never loved me.

The hanyou's eyes were wide, shock clearly written all over his face. It vanished when he and the two women heard a male calling Kagome's name from afar.

It was Hojo.

Hojo rushed to Kagome's side, holding her like he had just moments before! To make matters worse, she not only embraced but kissed Hojo like she had kissed him.

"I was so blinded by my lust forgive me, my love. Even though defiled, please forgive me, dear one." Kagome said to the man. "I love you, Hojo. I always will."

"Kagome!" The betrayed hanyou cried out, his soul had shattered and he was no more.

Kagome!

Inuyasha jumped awake, a bit of perspiration on his forehead. He mentally cursed underneath his breath. He looked down at the hut from the tree he was in. Kagome was down there sleeping peacefully.

If we become any closer…and that dream…it felt so real… even if it wasn't real…that could end up happening. I don't want to lose Kagome but I have to stay away from her…or… Inuyasha didn't finish that train of thought.

Inuyasha knew one thing for sure, he couldn't stay away.

His heart ached at the thought of not seeing his feisty wench anymore but he had a promise to keep, the thought of this promise didn't set too well with him. But he couldn't deny he was starting to have feelings for Kagome, deep feelings and that wouldn't do. Not when he was to become human for Kikyo and then marry the woman. He never felt so torn and confused in his entire life.

Kikyo turned back to look at him. "Oh, while you're at it, I want you to stop playing your silly little love game with Kagome."

Groaning inwardly, Inuyasha looked up at the starry sky. What am I going to do?

So lost in his thoughts he didn't hear the movements coming from below. Kagome watched the hanyou, peeking through the flap of the hut. Her eyes sadden but filled with love. Inuyasha…

The next day Kikyo was in the cave with the ailing bandit and her herbs. Kikyo dusted her hands off and stood. "That should be it for the day." She didn't stay longer than she needed to.

"You don't spend much time with me." A man said with a very masculine tone. "Why is that?"

"Wasn't saving you enough—foolish as it was?" Kikyo snapped.

"You're as arrogant as ever as I can see." The bandaged man said in an irritated tone.

Kikyo narrowed her eyes, her voice now cold and as eerie as the man she spoke to. "That was very bluntly said coming from a paralyzed man, Onigumo."

Onigumo chuckled harshly. "Oh Kikyo—"

"Lady Kikyo." Kikyo corrected, her dark-brown eyes held the authority her position entitled.

"Forgive me, Lady Kikyo," He said this with a roll of his eyes. "I meant no disrespect. But to tell me this, why did you rescue me when you hate 'my' kind? I doubt you have told the hanyou or the villagers. May I ask why?"

"That is none of your concern." Kikyo said curtly.

Onigumo smiled somewhat, ignoring Kikyo's glare. "Forgive my forwardness again. 'Tis been a rough night is all. I thank you for taking care of me, priestess, regardless of your reasons. If there is ever anything…anything at all that I could do…just ask." Onigumo said.

The bandit's eyes lingered hungrily upon her breasts, though heavily clothed she felt naked and dirty when it came to his lustful gaze.

"You go too far, Onigumo." Kikyo straightened; the need for a purification bath filled her. His sickening glances sent shivers of disgust throughout her body yet she wondered why she helped this man. For it was not out of kindness or duty.

"Lady Kikyo, I was just admiring your great beauty." The bandit lied.

"Apologizes from you mean nothing to me, bandit. I don't know if you'll be as able as a regular man but it's the best I can do. Your wounds should be healed in a few weeks. After that you best be on your way. It is unlike me to help those…" like you. She gestured at him with her free hand.

"You mean those like me?" He chuckled, and then his eyes darkened after a moment. "You should be careful. Simple gestures can be your last. Things aren't what they seem. So trust no one for you don't know who will come to get you."

"Is that a threat?" Kikyo asked icily, silently wondering why the man was speaking in riddles.

"Merely some friendly advice," He smirked then closed his eyes. "Come to me." He whispered.

At first the priestess thought he was talking to her but she sensed something that alarmed her.

The priestess could sense a massive amount of demonic aura. She sidestepped just as a flood of demons entered the cave and devoured Onigumo.

Demons…thousands of them… Kikyo thought.

Kikyo watched as his body began to morph and burn until she saw nothing but flames engulf him. She knew the cave might give way at anytime with the amount of demons entering it.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Kikyo thought impassively and turned to leave, never looking back.

That morning everything was in full swing, the village was as lively as it always had been since the permanent housing of Lady Kikyo's younger sibling.

Kagome laughed as she played with the village children. Kagome always tended to bring the best out of everyone, even those who wanted to hide in a shell of isolation. One of her sweet smiles and a man or woman was putty in her hands. It had always been like this but it seemed this charm of hers grew with age.

Kagome looked up, as if knowing he was there. She smiled up at him, "Come join us."

The children, despite sensing their parents prejudice feelings of all demons, they nodded enthusiastically. As soon as Inuyasha gave in and came down, he was bombarded with questions from the curious bunch. Several jumped on the hanyou, smiling and giggling. A few went after his ears and said they were fuzzy and warm.

Despite their affections being overwhelming it was nice having someone to play with, something he had been deprived of for so long because he was a hanyou.

After a while Inuyasha retired to the tree, saying he was wiped out. Kagome only giggled but let him go. He didn't go far.

Kagome had been staring at the hanyou who sat in the tree but felt someone tug at her kimono. The young woman blinked, looking down and saw a child no older than six staring up at her.

"Lady Kagome…why doesn't everyone like Inuyasha or hanyous? I think if a hanyou is nice like Inuyasha and protects people then he's good, right? That means I can like him, right?" The girl named Miriam asked, sucking on her thumb. Her slightly pudgy cheeks and innocent brown eyes made her look even cuter without her sucking on her little thumb.

Kagome smiled sweetly at the adorable girl, kneeling down beside her.

"Oh sweetie, some people are just afraid of things they don't understand. A hanyou is a living thing just like humans are. They have the right, like humans and demons, to live." Kagome said.

"In fact, they are the best of both worlds. We have to accept people as they are and not try to change them for that will make them miserable in the end. We are all special in one way or another." Kagome gently stroked the little girl's hair like a mother would a child.

"I like Inuyasha's ears." Miriam's older sister said suddenly. Her three other friends and the rest of the village children nodded in unison.

Suddenly the small group of children started talking all at once. The boys talked about Inuyasha's powerful moves when he fought the demons and how they hoped to get as strong as he is. The girls giggled happily about how cute his ears were and how soft his hair was.

Kagome smiled. The children are, after all, the future. If they were taught young not to be prejudice of someone based upon what they were then there was hope that maybe…one day humans and demons could live together in harmony. Though far stretched, the first step was acceptance and understanding.

Inuyasha looked at Kagome, her words…

Three boys had been throwing rocks at him; he had been use to violent behaviors so it was nothing knew. The rocks didn't hurt but their words did, each word condemning him hurt more than anything they could throw. So much so that at the very moment he was about to snap, she showed it.

"Leave him alone!" The girl had shouted and a tensed silence followed. The boys had glared at her because she stood up for the 'half-breed' so she too was a target with stones.

The girl cried out as the rocks hit her face and her legs, her pain caused the boy beside her to visibly snap.

"Stop it, you big jerks! Didn't your mother ever teach you not to pick on girls?" Inuyasha had growled, snarling and glaring at the three boys. That alone had the three wetting their pants and running home.

A moment had passed and another silence fell upon them. Shyly Inuyasha had asked if she was ok, the girl had nodded. Just as she was about to leave, she looked back at him, a smile on her face.

"Thank you." She whispered before walking off. He hadn't known who she was, didn't even know her name yet those two words had been enough to make him blush and feel content.

That was the first time he had met Kagome…the second time was when he his mother had died. Of course, the young girl left the next day because she was visiting but he never forgot her, had hoped she'd return. He'd given up hope until about ten years later she showed up again.

No one had ever stood up for him after his mother died, in fact, he could count on two fingers when it came to those who stood up for him. Kikyo would've made another finger had she kept her word. She had, in the end, wavered because she didn't want the villagers to think les of her. She had wanted him to change for her—and for the villagers.

"Become human for me." Kikyo had said. "You promised you would. Come three moons I shall bring you the jewel of the following morn. Only then shall I become your bride, Inuyasha."

"Why change? I like you as you are." Kagome said, looking at him. "Ears and all."

Kagome…I should be staying away from her…but I can't…it's almost like I'm drawn to her…Inuyasha thought, watching the young girl from a tree. He was so focused on the young girl and plagued by his dream from last night that he failed to hear Kikyo approach.

Kikyo looked at Inuyasha; she had been watching him from afar all morning. Today he would not be with her little sister if she could help it. She'd make sure he'd keep his word. She saw the way Inuyasha looked at Kagome; she hated feeling so…envious of the girl. And above all she didn't want her plans to be ruined.

She needed this.

She needed him.

"Inuyasha."

The hanyou stiffened, his gaze left from looking at Kagome and swerved to look at Kikyo.

Kikyo wore her usual sober expression before breaking into a smile. Inuyasha hesitated. Kikyo hardly ever smiled and it made him freeze on the spot. He sensed something behind that smile for its glow never reached her eyes.

Never does.

It was not uncommon for any man to have affairs even when he is married, highly praised emperors do it so why not a lowly hanyou, who is no better than a demon?

Kikyo clenched her fists.

Inuyasha would be faithful—no, he better be. She had a reputation to uphold after all. She wanted to be a normal woman without the jewel and she needed the hanyou to remain in love with her. She wasn't about to let her step-sister ruin it nor those 'feelings' Kagome and Inuyasha seemed to develop for one another.

Inuyasha looked at Kikyo with his full attention, or what he wanted her to believe was his full attention. She watched with annoyance as his fuzzy ears swerved ever so slightly to the direction the laughing Kagome was located.

Not wanting the hanyou to smell her anger, Kikyo suppressed it. She straightened and said soberly, "I wish to speak with you. It's a nice day after all; I'd like to enjoy it—with you."

Inuyasha hesitated once more.

He always hesitated when it came to her and everyone else except with her step-sister. Kikyo kept her smile in place. Nevertheless, Kikyo wanted to know just how far this relationship had gotten, how exactly to destroy it and if it would affect his promise.

Inuyasha glanced at Kagome then back at Kikyo. A look of a man torn was written clearly on his face. After a tensed moment he sighed, jumped down from the tree and said, "Uh sure."

Kikyo smiled sweetly at him. "I've always wanted to go to the harbor. They say it looks heavenly when the sun is setting. Have you been there recently?"

The look on his face clarified what Kikyo had suspected and had witness. Kikyo turned to leave, knowing the hanyou would be respectable enough to follow.

Keeping her eyes straight forward, her smile fixed in place, Kikyo led the way. You will not break your promise, Inuyasha. You swore you'd set me free and I shall hold you to that 'till the day I die. But Kikyo had a feeling she'd hold him to it even in the afterlife.

Inuyasha, as if sensing Kikyo's dark thoughts, kept his distance by traveling through the trees rather than standing too close to her. In his time with knowing Kikyo, anytime they talked her melancholy attitude towards life tend to rub off on him. She was never truly happy, even when around the happiest of people. In fact, she grew spiteful but never showed it, her heart only turned bleaker and the jewel grew more tainted.

Kagome glanced away from the children watching the two leave. It felt like a punch to the gut when she had spotted them. A tear rolled down her cheek but she successfully suppressed the others that threaten to come.

He's her fiancé…they are to wed…he's only a friend. Kagome couldn't look away. But then…why do I care that they are together? Why does it hurt so much to see them like that?

Kagome touched her lips, flashbacks of their kisses coming to mind. I'm in love with him…that's why.

"I'd be lying if I said I saw you as only a friend because I can't just think of you as a friend, not anymore. I-I seriously care for you."

Kagome pushed that thought away. He didn't love her. The young woman looked down at her feet, her black bangs covering her face, two tears rolled down her cheeks. I am such a fool.

Next Time: Inside The Lone Hut

A/N: That whole scene from the 'love scene' down to the 'Hojo' part was all a dream…or started out as a dream and ended as a nightmare in my opinion. I guess you can consider it a bit of foreshadowing, who knows—except for me. Hope that clears up any questions and I also hope you enjoyed it. There'll be much a lot more fluff and romance in the upcoming chapters.