InuYasha walked casually beside Souta. The young man hadn't stopped talking since they left the club. He had lost interest on what the kid was saying after hearing "That was so cool" and "Because we're men, right?" about fifty times. He just kept nodding and smirking whenever the kid turned his way, but his attention was focused on the raven-haired fury behind him.

Kagome hadn't said a word after stating they had her father's journal. He glanced back to see her pull her overcoat on.


Startled, Kagome peered up at him. She frowned slightly and shook her head softly before looking away.

InuYasha turned back ahead. Great, she was still mad. But could he blame her? He had basically implied she was a whore and couldn't take care of herself. Fuck, it's exactly what he said. He knew she wasn't like that. Kagome was a lot of things, but none of her was bad. Yet why had he flown off the handle to think she could be? Because of her. He growled at the thought. She had broken his trust, torn their love, and still played with the pieces. It's because of her that he tainted his view of Kagome's purity.

InuYasha sighed internally. Purity. Kagome was pure. He knew that. Sure she teased, but she was so innocent afterwards he couldn't help but feel pulled in to either protect her or fuck her to claim that innocence for his own. He cringed at the thought. No, he would never do that to Kagome. Other than the fact she was his partner, he could never do that with someone like her.

His eyes flicked to Souta, who was still talking with no awareness of the tension between his sister and himself. Both of them held that innocence. Both seemed oblivious to the hardships and strife of the world. They laughed, joked and looked as if the world were their adventure, and not the black predator that InuYasha had come to know so well. He was jealous. He was jealous of their virtuousness, jealous of their cleanliness. He was jealous, because he could never bring himself to touch it. He could only look at it in awe.

Watching Kagome from the corner of his eye, he could see she looked angry, but there was sadness there as well. And he caused it. He hated the thought of taking the light from her eyes. His shoulders tightened. Why did he care? Wasn't like he didn't piss of his friends before. Why was she so different that the thought of making her sad clawed at him like an ice-cold rake? He snorted softly and pushed the matter in the back of his mind. Fuck it. What matters now is they had the journal. Maybe that book would finally make her useful. Besides, she wasn't anything to him. She was just his key to finding the Shikon, nothing more. Yeah, having that kind of attitude will help me tons. He rolled his eyes. He continued to walk in silence, but his attention never left the girl walking a few feet behind him.

The fluorescent lights of the university cast a green glow around the student district. Several clusters of youth walked or jogged together to whatever bars or parties they were going to.

Kagome let her eyes wonder as she watched laughing faces pass her. She sighed. She missed her friends and hanging out. She missed laughing and talking with them over everything and nothing. She smiled softly as a young couple walked past. She wondered if she would ever feel that way again. But then again, it wasn't like it did her any good in the past. David was everything she thought she wanted, and she had become almost everything he wanted. How easily one can be lost when it comes to making others happy. So much to the point where you can lose yourself forever, unless you are lucky to have that one moment to finally see the truth. Her moment came, and she thought for sure it would have been the end of her. She had never had a relationship since, burying herself in work and friends. So many times her friends tried to set her up, and each time she left with a new friend, and nothing more. No one could settle that fear in her heart.

Her eyes drifted unconsciously to InuYasha only to meet his stare. He turned his gaze swiftly away, his silver eyes unreadable. She cast her face down. Who was she kidding? Her last relationship had nearly broken her, why would she open herself to give someone else that chance? Besides, she didn't have time to find love. Her eyes followed the gentle sweep of his long black hair as he walked. Maybe if she was lucky, love wouldn't find her either.


All eyes turned to see a petit blue haired girl run towards them and jumped into the boy's arms, kissing him soundly on the lips.

Kagome turned to her brother with a quirk in her eyebrow. Her brother avoided her gaze as he blushed slightly down at the girl in his arms. "Naomi, I didn't know you were back!"

She giggled and gave him a large hug. "I tried to call, but your answering machine was busted again. I thought you were going to fix it."

Souta smiled down at her. "Yeah, I've been meaning to get around to that. Figured if it was important, people would call back."

She swatted his arm. "I did, four times!" She grabbed his hand. "Come on, the gang is heading over to the new dance club."

His smile intensified but faltered when Kagome coughed. His eyes looked guiltily over at her. "Kagome, do you mind…?"

Kagome looked over at the girl who seemed surprised to see her there. She sidled up to her brother and wrapped an arm around his middle. "I don't know, Sody-pop, it is rather late."

Naomi's eyes grew dark as she watched.

"And we both know how cranky you are in the morning." Kagome winked at Naomi devilishly.

The poor girl looked ready to bust as her furious eyes turned on Souta who pushed Kagome off of him in boyish annoyance.

"Geez, Kagome, what you trying to do? Make me a eunuch?"

Kagome laughed and bowed slightly to the girl. "Don't mind us. I'm Kagome, Souta's older sister."

Naomi's face fell in relief then beamed in happiness. "Oh, of course! Kagome, right, Souta told me about you."

Kagome wanted to say she never heard of the girl, but held her tongue. "New club? Sounds fun." She looked to her brother. "Go on, have a good time."

Souta grinned and grabbed Naomi's hand. "Thanks, sis."

"Wait, you guys want to come with?" The small girl grinned, sizing InuYasha up appreciatively though Souta took no notice, but Kagome did.

Kagome frowned and immediately stood beside her partner, who was smirking at the couple as the girl stared at him as if he was eye candy. "No, thanks, we have work to do." She turned to her brother. "Journal?"

"Oh, right." He fished in his jacket and produced a small journal. The pages looked torn, folded and extremely yellowed. Kagome took the journal and looked down at it lovingly, letting her fingers trace a red ribbon that held the worn book together.

"See you, Kags! Later, InuYasha." Souta jogged off with the strange girl, leaving Kagome and InuYasha to watch him join his friends in a taxi and drive off.

"Blue hair huh?" InuYasha gleamed. "I can imagine why he likes her."

Kagome gaped and smacked his arm. "Ew! That's just dirty!"

"What's dirty was that little trick you played on your brother. I was worried the little smurf was going to jump you." He chuckled.

Kagome grinned and shrugged. "He's my little brother, and it wasn't like he hasn't pulled stuff on me. Besides, I could have taken her."

InuYasha's brows rose in wicked delight. "Now that I'd loved to have seen."

Kagome looked up at him in mock anger. "Think I can't take her?"

The man shook his head. "I'm sure you would have had the girl running with her tail between her legs. It's seeing you get dirty that would have been great."

Kagome smiled and shook her head. "Come on, hentai, no foxy boxing for you today." She began to walk in the direction of the subways.

InuYasha followed after. "Rain check then?"

Kagome crinkled her nose. "As if. I'm not fighting some chick for my brother."

"Doesn't have to be for your brother."

Kagome gaped and looked up at him to see him holding back a laugh. She stuck her tongue out at him. "As if you're worth fighting for."

InuYasha pouted. "I'm hurt, 'Gome."

"Well, after the bar scene tonight, you're lucky I'm talking to you." She crossed her arms though she fought off a smile.

InuYasha cringed. He almost forgot about that. Seeing her smile and joke wiped the event from his mind. Somehow, her being happy made everything fresh and new. Having her angry was not a side he wanted to visit regularly, in fact it made him want to cover his balls in protection. But she was right. He was lucky. Kagome may have had a temper, but she forgave with no questions asked. And he was glad, because he wouldn't know how to answer if she did. Still, he did owe her some sort of an apology.

"Look, Kagome, I'm…."

"Forgiven." She smiled up at him. "You were just trying to keep me safe, and I appreciate that. Next time though, make sure you trust me."

He smiled faintly. "Keh." Trust. You don't know how impossible that is for me. He looked down at her. "So where now?"

She sighed. "It's a bit late to go back to the Shrine. Gramps will be placing demon wards over the temple again since the tourists peel them off for souvenirs and I don't want to be caught to help. I don't know where to go. Maybe a café?"

InuYasha gazed down at her face looking up at him so innocently. His eyes roamed her dress briefly between the folds of her jacket before looking at the journal in her hands. Just my key to the Shikon, that's all…but. He exhaled in surrender. "Let's give up the research tonight."

Kagome looked stunned and then smiled. "You are telling me to give up research for the night? That's a first."

He grinned exasperatedly and grabbed her hand to lead her to a cab. "Come on, let's have some fun."

Stepping out of the cab, Kagome was lulled by the beat of several clubs. She gazed around at the various neon signs and the laughing patrons as they passed in and out of the bars. She smiled as InuYasha clasped her elbow and tugged her over to an entrance.

"Myoga's?" Kagome read the neon sign over the door.

"Yeah, an old family friend runs the place. It's a rock bar. I come to hang here once in awhile with Miro and Sango." He opened the door for her.

The sounds of a classic rock song filtered in her ears and she smiled. She walked in and gazed around. The club was dark, as most clubs go, and tables were scattered along the walls. A small DJ room was set up by the bar and bodies swayed on the large dance floor as the DJ pumped out another song. The place didn't look like it could hold more than five hundred people, but InuYasha explained it had the capacity to hold a thousand.

Leaning over the bar, InuYasha tapped an old man. "Myoga, you fucking parasite, give me my usual."

The short gray haired man scowled. "Have no respect for an old man, do you, InuYasha?"

The dark haired man smirked. "Respect those who deserve it. Usual and…." He looked down at Kagome beside him. "Well, princess? What you having? Something fruity?"

She glowered at him and then smiled at the man behind the bar. "You got Kirin?"

The man grinned and flicked his eyes over at InuYasha. "Two usuals coming up."

"So, beer drinker?" InuYasha flipped some money on the counter and grabbed the two beers Myoga produced in front of them.

"I grew up in Canada, what did you think I would drink?" She laughed as she followed him through the bar.

"Didn't know Kirin was a Canadian choice of beer." He smirked back at her, leading her to an empty table in the back.

She sat beside him and grabbed a beer from his hand. "It isn't, but it's something I wanted to try. Besides, coming back from the field, nothing makes it more complete than an ice cold drink."

InuYasha laughed. "Right, you know you're an archaeologist when alcohol replaces water."

She chuckled and downed a bit of her beer and sighed. "Have to admit, it hits the spot."

They talked and laughed for the better part of twenty minutes before Kagome got up to buy the second round of beer. InuYasha watched her go with a faint smile on his face. Looking down at his empty bottle, he was caught unaware as a pair of arms wrapped around his neck and a soft body fell on his lap.

"Where were you all day?" Deep brown eyes stared accusingly at him.

"Fuck, Sango, I hate when you sneak up on me like that." He growled and pushed her off his lap.

She slumped in the chair Kagome was occupying. "Thought you'd be back at supper. Miro made your favorite, chicken ramen." She fiddled with Kagome's empty beer bottle. "Two beers already? Bad day?"

InuYasha frowned and avoided her knowing look. "It was fine."

"InuYasha, I'm beginning to worry…."

"Sango, my love, leave the poor guy alone."

InuYasha grumbled a thanks as Miroku took a seat opposite him.

"Besides, if InuYasha decides to tea bag his partner, who are we to deny his happiness." Miroku grinned devilishly.

Silver eyes flared but InuYasha didn't have time to retort before a soft voice laughed behind him. "And you must be Miroku."

Violet and brown eyes turned to see Kagome smiling down at them.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you were coming or I would have gotten you both drinks." Kagome placed a beer in front of InuYasha and looked to both Sango and Miroku. "What would you guys like?"

Sango's mouth floundered like a fish while Miroku beamed a smile at her. "Two of the same." He said, pointing to the beer.

Kagome nodded and headed over to the bar once again.

"Holy fuck!" Miroku watched the sway of Kagome's hips and round ass before Sango smacked him in the back of the head and punched in the arm by InuYasha. Rubbing both pains, Miroku turned to InuYasha. "Damn, man, I envy you. You work with that every day?"

Sango scowled at him before turning back to InuYasha. "You should have told us! This must be so hard on you."

Miroku frowned. "Told us what? So what if she's hot. Yash can handle himself fine, he has so far."

"Not that, idiot. She looks just like her." Sango tried to peer at Kagome while she leaned over the bar to Myoga to order their drinks.

"She looks nothing like her." InuYasha growled.

Both of his friends turned to him with disbelief on their faces.

He glowered. "Fine, she might look a bit like her. But she ain't her, so drop it."

"InuYasha, you better be careful." Sango glared at him. "You know…"

"Yeah! I fucking know!" The man snarled. "You don't think I know! Damn it, she's just my partner, once it's done, she's gone. She's nothing to me so drop it."

Both looked at him sheepishly.

"Sorry, man."

"We just worry, because the last time…."

"The last time was a mistake. A dead end to a botched job." InuYasha watched as Kagome walked towards them. "I won't make the same mistake again."

Everyone turned and smiled as Kagome handed them the beers and sat down on the other side of InuYasha. She looked over at the dark eyed woman that watched her scrupulously. Kagome smiled despite of herself and nodded her head at the brown haired beauty. "I know the letch through reputation" she smiled as Miroku choked on his beer, "but I'd know you anywhere. Sango, right?"

Sango flicked her eyes over at InuYasha before nodding. "Yeah, InuYasha talks about us?"

Kagome wasn't sure which 'us' she meant, us as in Miroku and Sango, or us as in Sango and InuYasha? She smiled as she decided to play it by ear. "InuYasha speaks very highly of both of you."

Sango's brows rose in curiosity. "Oh, and what did he say about me?" She leaned in towards Kagome, flicking her hands in annoyance towards InuYasha when he began to complain.

Kagome giggled at the discomfort on InuYasha's face. "He told me how clever and strong you are, and said you had a mean left hook."

Sango beamed and looked at Kagome with twinkling brown eyes, before looking haughtily over at the embarrassed man. "And you told me I had a weak punch."


Everyone laughed and began to chat in comfort.

Soon after Kagome excused herself to go to the washroom. InuYasha cringed as both his friends turned to him.

"Wow." Sango smiled. "She's great, InuYasha."

"Yeah," Miroku grinned. "She's hard not to like."

InuYasha just shrugged and nursed his beer, peeling at the label. "She's fine. She doesn't piss me off and it makes the day go faster. She's also pretty smart. She knows what she's doing, so that's good. She also has a great sense of humor, like the other day she…." He looked up to see two knowing looks. "What?"

"You like her." Sango smiled slightly though she looked worried.

"Fuck off. She's nothing like that. Just a…."

"Friend?" Miroku nodded. "She is a good friend, InuYasha, and that's all she better be."

InuYasha avoided their looks. He crossed his arms and stared hard at his beer. "She will never be more than that. I'd kill myself before I make that mistake again."

Both his friends smiled sadly.

"We are so sorry, InuYasha." Sango sighed and bit her lip.

"Hey, now, enough of this. Not like anything's happened yet, not like anything will. Come on, lover, let's dance." Miroku stood and grabbed Sango's hand.

She glanced back at InuYasha before following Miroku out on the dance floor.

InuYasha grimaced as he swallowed the remainder of his now warm beer. His eyes followed the line of the dance floor and could make out Kagome coming from the bathroom. She stepped between the dancers, trying to make her way back to the table before she was grabbed from behind. InuYasha stood in a flash as he saw a brown haired man run his hands up and down her sides and ground against her from behind. He snarled and thundered into the crowded dance floor, oblivious to rhyme or reason. He just knew he had to get to her.

Kagome gasped when she was grabbed and tried to turn around to see who it was. But the man had thrusted her against him and he was grinding a very aroused organ against her ass. Her face paled as her mouth dropped in revulsion. She struggled in the man's grasp and turned to face him. Ochre brown eyes stared down at her lustily as they traveled up and down her body. Long waves of brown hair framed his face and fierce white teeth flashed her with a satanic smile.

She pushed him from her and gave him a deadly glare, before turning around to make her way back to the table. Her hand was grabbed and she felt herself pulled back into the man's arms. She struggled against his chest and flared her light brown eyes up at him. "Let me go."

His eyebrows rose as he mocked her. "And why should I do that?" His voice was calm, cold and very dominating.

Kagome hated him that very moment. "Sir, if you do not let me go, I will make sure you will live to regret it."

The man smiled slightly and released her before he turned and disappeared into the crowd.

Kagome watched him and shuddered as she tried to wipe the feel of him off her. What a creep. Turning back towards her table, she meandered through the crowd and smiled when she spotted InuYasha. He didn't see her, so she made her way towards him on the dance floor.

InuYasha turned around in the crowd. He was certain Kagome was in this spot a moment ago. Where the hell did that bastard drag her? He was about to walk on before slender arms wrapped around his chest from behind, molding his back against a soft hot body.

He turned his head to gaze over his shoulder and faltered. "Ki…Kikyo?"

"Hey, lover." Cold brown eyes looked up at him hungrily before she let go to stand in front of him, tracing her fingers over his stomach. "Miss me?"

InuYasha shivered at her touch and pulled her hand away. "Why are you here?"

She smirked and tossed a lock of long straight black hair over her shoulder. "Looking for you of course. Why else would I visit any hole you seem to frequent?"

InuYasha frowned and looked away. "What do you want?"

"Same reason why I always come." She eyed him lustily. "My offer still stands, Inu. All you have to do is kiss me, and I'm all yours."

InuYasha avoided her gaze and looked out into the crowd. "You've given me a lifetime of hell by offering an eternity of hell. How can I refuse?"

Her cold laughter drew his attention into her dark brown orbs.

"Silly dog. Poor, hopeful Inu. Do you honestly think you can find that damned thing? Think it can honestly save you from your fate?" She trailed her fingers up his chest to cup his cheek. "Why do you fight so hard?"

InuYasha closed his eyes and clenched his hands into tight fists. "When I find it, Kikyo, I'll make it better, I swear."

She chuckled. "What's done is done. Nothing you do will make it better. It's your fault we ended up like this, and you still chase after a stupid dream, thinking you can right a wrong with a wish and a prayer. I'm offering you a way out. Come with me. Fuck me like you want to, and let the past go."

He opened his eyes to the crowd and looked into the smiling face of Kagome who was walking towards them. He let out a shuddering sigh. "Kagome."

"What?" Kikyo turned to look where he was looking and she smirked. "Oh, how cute." Gingerly, she wrapped an arm around his waist as the girl peered curiously at the both of them before she stopped to stand in front of them.

Kagome smiled up at InuYasha, but her smile faded when she saw the look on his face. He looked angry, scared and sad. She glanced to the woman who was caressing his chest in deep scratching circles.

Kagome's eyes narrowed at the obvious cause of his distress. "Excuse me, I don't think we've met."

The woman laughed. "Why, InuYasha, she is ever so sweet and polite. And look, she wants to protect you from me. What did he call you? Komy, was it?"

Kagome kept her mouth closed. She knew the woman would try to goad her on, no matter what she said. But something else disturbed her. This woman looked familiar. Kagome knew she had seen her somewhere before, in a nightmare for sure.

"Now, where was I?" Kikyo pushed her breasts tight against InuYasha's side. "Oh yes, you were about to tell your little friend goodbye, and we were going to go fuck."

Kagome paled and flicked her eyes up at InuYasha who had turned his face away in torment. Kagome shook her head slightly, coming to a quick decision. "I'm sorry. But InuYasha is not going anywhere with you."

Silver eyes flashed wide as he stared dumbstruck down at his partner.

Kagome sauntered up to him and pulled him from Kikyo's grasp and stood in front of him. She faced Kikyo and her brass eyes flashed dangerously. "As you can see, he has more than enough to handle here as it is."

"Oh really?" Kikyo smirked. "I find that hard to believe."

Kagome said nothing and turned to gaze up into InuYasha's eyes, searching to see if he was okay and imploring what to do to help him. His silver eyes were now dark like molten steel as he looked down at her with a hooded expression. She licked her lips unconsciously. "InuYasha?" She cupped his cheek and smiled softly when he leaned into her touch. His disturbed countenance made her want to hunt down whatever caused him his distress. Never before had she felt so relentless about something. She needed him to know that she was there for him. She leaned up to his cheek and whispered so only he could hear. "Everything will be alright."

InuYasha shivered as he shut his eyes and leaned down, gently taking her lips with his own, his hands softly clasping her waist. Kagome's eyes widened slightly, before softly closing as she leaned into his kiss. She knew what this kiss meant. She knew what he was asking of her.

Cold laughter startled them from their bond and they broke the chaste kiss to look at Kikyo.

"I am sure you will enjoy devouring her, like you have done with so many others." Her dark eyes pierced his silver. "Enjoy her while you can, Inu. I only wish I could be there when she screams." She eyed Kagome hungrily. "She will be the one to finally break you. Once she's gone, you'll come to me, and I'll be waiting." She turned and faded into the crowd.

Kagome inhaled sharply as InuYasha's fingers gripped her sides hard.

"InuYasha?" She looked up at him in worry.

He avoided her gaze. "I'll take you home." He released her quickly and took her hand to guide her back to their table.

Sango and Miroku were already standing by the table, waiting. Sango jogged over to him in a fierce panic.

"She was here, Inu…."

"I know." His gruff voice told both his friends what they needed to know. Grabbing their things, InuYasha lead Kagome from the bar and out into the street. Both Sango and Miroku followed closely behind. He turned back on them. "Go home, guys, I'll meet you there after I drop Kagome off."

"InuYasha?" Kagome pulled at her hand, making him turn angrily back at her. She bit her lip. "I'll be fine. I'll take a cab back to the shrine. You go home with your friends. But I expect to see you on Monday to go through some scrolls from the shed, and if you're lucky, I'll let you see the book." She smiled jokingly up at him.

The fury in his eyes turned quickly to confusion, disbelief and finally gentle ease. Even now she didn't ask questions, never searched for explanations. "Kagome, I…."

"You what?" Kagome smiled gently, pulling her hand from his. She sighed as she gave him a playful grin and smacked his arm softly. "I guess you are worth fighting for after all." She nodded to the two stunned people standing behind InuYasha. "It was nice to meet you both, I hope we can hang with each other again sometime." She smiled lightly at them as she walked to a cab and got in.

Three silent people watched as she drove off as if the night had ended with stories and songs. Two sets of eyes peered up at InuYasha to see a soft expression on his face.

Sango shook her head in disbelief. "What happened?"

"Kagome." InuYasha watched the cab's red lights flash as it turned a corner. "She made it alright."