A/N: I've been working this one for a while. It's not finished by any means, but I'm hoping that posting it will help inspire me to keep writing it. I like this idea a lot, and man do I have plans for it.

I hope anyone who has read my other things will notice how my style has changed. I've been trying to improve for a long time. On that note, any constructive criticism is much appreciated. And I do mean any – spelling mistakes, OOCness, something that just doesn't work well… please, I am asking you to help me improve.

Oh, and I still don't own any of these characters. Just a matter of time, though – that's what I keep telling myself. The plot of this story is mine, though!

And finally, the first chapter is in Koga's POV, but they won't all be that way. And I'm spelling Koga's name the way it's translated in the manga, just like I do for all my other spellings.

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Chapter 1

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With one last, fierce kick direct to his chest, Inu-yasha slams through several trees to leave a deep furrow in the ground. As he moans and groans in the pit, I gracefully land next to it.

"Had enough, puppy? Or are you finally ready to give up and surrender Kagome to me?"

He coughed, and blood splattered down his front, but I could make out one defiant word…

"N… never…"

I grace him with a skeptical look.

"Fool."

I lift him by his neck, surveying his broken body. Who knew the completed Shikon could give me so much power? I've barely started to use it, only a small portion of its power, and now Inu-yasha – the one enemy that I could never before defeat – is a bloody pulp in my hand. His face is red with blood and contorted with pain, and his silver hair is stained crimson. All the bones in his body must be broken by now, and several shattered pieces push through his skin. He hangs limply in my grasp, spitting blood out of his mouth. I throw him down in disgust, face in the dirt – just like the worthless dog he is. He exhales sharply, defiantly tries to get up, then, with a last whisper of "Kagome", slips completely out of consciousness.

I've won. One final blow – the final, killing blow – and Kagome is mine forever.

I crouch next to him, and grab his skull, raising him so I can see his face. But before I can bring his head down and crush his skull against the stone below, I realize something.

Kagome's screaming. She doesn't want me to kill him. I look over at her in confusion.

"Eh? Kagome, what's the matter?" She knew this was coming, didn't she? All fights for mates are to the death. If they weren't, the loser would just keep returning.

"Please, Koga, don't kill him! I'll go with you, I'll be your mate! Just don't kill him! Please, please don't kill him…"

She looks terrible – not at all like her usual, pretty self. Her eyes are all red and puffy, and she's sobbing violently and has fallen to her knees.

Her friends are yelling at her not to say that, preparing to jump in and save their friend, but she doesn't even look at them. I meet her eyes, and they plead with me. I look at her very carefully for a moment, then at the unconscious hanyou in my grasp. Keh, what should I care? Kagome's mine – who needs this worthless fool? He probably won't survive the night anyways.

His face hits the ground with a soft thud as I stand up.

"As you wish, Kagome."

Without even looking at me, she rushes past to his side, still sobbing. Keh, she'll get over it. She'll come to love me like that in time. I relish the thought, and give her a moment as she and her friends gently turn him over. They carefully load him onto the fire-cat to take back to the village and it's healer. When the idiot is secure, I return to her side.

"Come on Kagome, let's go."

"But… but Inu-yasha…"

"Inu-yasha no longer has any claim over you, or the jewel, and it's getting late. We need to get home."

I can see her begin to panic and protest, but then she swallows it. I can just see her mind working as she pulls herself together like only she can.

"Then you owe me the jewel." She puts out her hand. "Give it to me, it's not yours to keep."

"And why wouldn't it be?"

"It was part of the initial agreement. The jewel would be returned to me, and in exchange I would go with you."

"But he didn't take that deal – I had to win you."

"But you didn't win me – you stopped the battle, because I agreed to the go with you."

"Kagome-chan, you said nothing about the jewel. I'd hate to think my mate was trying to rob me!" I joke, tapping her nose. I get quite the glare for that; she's not feeling playful at the moment. Ok, she's crying. I try to console her. "Besides, think how great we could be together with this!"

"You have no right to it anyways – and I do. It came from me, I broke it, and now it's fixed – it's mine again."

"Kagome-chan, that was a long time ago. I dealt the killing blow to Naraku, and found the jewel before the others. It is mine to keep, not yours."

She gestures at Inu-yasha. "He was injured! You never would have killed Naraku without him! You only got the jewel first because you didn't bother to check on anyone else!"

"I knew you were safe. That was all that mattered."

Kagome glares at me, and I can't help but retreat a little.

"Koga, if you don't give me the jewel, I won't go with you."

"Then I'll kill him," I retort bluntly with a nod towards Inu-yasha, while the monk takes a protective step in front of his fallen friend.

"You wouldn't dare. If you do, I will leave, and you'll never see me again. I'll go home, where you can't find me."

I don't know exactly where she's talking about, but I don't doubt her words. There are times when her scent disappears, as if she wasn't even on the earth. So I glare at her for a moment, size her up, see if she'll back down… And make the mistake of looking her in the eyes. I almost step back at the passion there. Her eyes are streaming with salty tears, and she's holding herself at her tallest. Her face is shining with pain and defiance.

…but that's Kagome for you; full of fire. Besides, she'll have to share the jewel once we're officially mated – she, and everything she owns, will be mine.

I hand her the jewel.

"As you wish, Mate." I can't help but notice her slight flinch, but no matter. "Say your goodbyes, we have to go."

The fiery light of before went out, leaving a shocked, crying girl standing where a strong woman stood before. I don't understand what the big deal is – it's what she agreed to. Her friends are upset too – they yell and shout and grab her arms. Humans are such stupid creatures. But she slowly nods and goes to each in turn; I allow her a moment of 'privacy' – I'm not exactly listening, but still… well, I can hear every word that's said. My hearing is not my worst quality by any means.

The exterminator tries to talk her out of it, telling her to go home now and stay there, that she could use the pretense of saying goodbye to her family. Too bad I already realized this, and she wouldn't make it that far. But she says no. She realized all that. She and the exterminator embrace tightly, and both are sobbing. The other woman's sobs are angrier though, and she seems frustrated with my mate. I fix her with a glare when Kagome isn't looking.

Next Kagome goes to the monk. He also embraces her, although I watch his hands carefully – I am familiar with his reputation. However he makes no inappropriate moves, so I look away again. I keep listening of course, but… He promises to watch out for everyone, and swears they'll all meet again. Ugh, all these petty human annoyances.

Finally, the kit. An aspiring young demon, I must admit – if he weren't so like Inu-yasha I would let him come with us. But it would seem he would rather learn from - and die like - a dirty hanyou than real demons. A pity really, but it can't be helped. This is by far the loudest embrace – the kit won't stop screaming that it's just not right, that she can't leave, crying his eyes out… Kami-sama, the child is a headache with fur!

I start towards Kagome, but she walks the other way. Towards Inu-yasha. I snarl and growl and start towards her. This is crossing the line. She's not going near him. I'm about to go grab her when a jangle and light pressure on my chest stops me. It's the monk. He gives me a stern look.

"At least allow her a farewell. You dealt no death blow, but he still may not survive the night," he hisses, quietly as he can. However, the shudder in Kagome's shoulder's reveals that she heard too. So she is aware of the situation. I'll grant her a minute, although it irks me to do so, and this time I'm not taking my eyes off her. She may be mine, but she hasn't fully realized it yet.

Slowly, she approaches him. He's lying, barely breathing, on the back of the crouching fire-cat. He has no idea she's there, or any consciousness of anything going on, so why she bothers is beyond me. But she does. She kneels next to him, and takes his hand – I growl louder, but the monk leaves his staff at my chest, so I hold off. She whispers to him, almost impossibly soft.

"I'm sorry… I'm so sorry… Please survive this, for me… If you die, I don't know what I'll do." Inu-yasha sighs in his sleep, and I can see his body relax. She tightens her grip on his hand, and with her other hand takes out the jewel.

"Kagome, that's enough. Let's go." She looks at me, and then at Inu-yasha again. I growl and start towards her as I push the monk out of my way. For a moment, she looked like she might use the jewel to heal him, right here and now. In fact, she still seems to be considering it. She looks frantically between me and Inu-yasha, and moves the jewel towards an open wound. With a growl, I reach to snatch her hand away.

"Kagome, don't!" To everyone's surprise, it's the exterminator who stops her. She still has that angry, hurt look about her. "Please Kagome, he wouldn't want that. That jewel has caused nothing but pain to those who use it." I sniff at her. Nothing's wrong with me! "Please, Kagome-chan, don't hurt him anymore…" she whispers.

I don't understand what she means, but it stops Kagome from using the jewel. She hangs her head, and fresh tears spatter on the half-breed's haori. This gives me time to get to her side. I snatch her away from Inu-yasha and sling her on my back. At first she moves to get off, then just adjusts to be more comfortable as more warm tears splash on my back. I can't help but be angry now; the sooner we get away from these humans, the better. Before any of them say another word, I speed off with Kagome and her giant yellow bag. Good riddance.

Kagome cries the whole way, and even once we arrive. I've never seen her so out of it. But she's also rather angry. She insists on being given something to dry off with after we enter the cave. I guess humans aren't well adapted to shaking off water. They're so fragile, but that's why they make such great prey. Apparently their minds are fragile as well, even Kagome's. She just keeps choking back sobs and wiping her eyes and shaking.

A little while later, she has quieted down some. Even the sniffling is only occasional. We're sitting together near the back of the cave, the place reserved for the alphas. I've busied my hands sorting out the best and cleanest furs for her, leaving Kagome to sort herself out. She still seems uncomfortable and tense, so I keep acting normal. I tried touching her, as that's a great comfort among wolves, but it only makes her shake more. It must be a human thing.

A disturbance at the front of the cave calls my attention away from her. Normally, disturbances like this would have been typical, but now that the pack is reduced to just we three males and the wolves, it is far quieter; besides, none of them snarl like a cat. As I head for the front, Kagome is only a few steps behind me. I smile – she's already adapting to her role as the alpha female.

When we reach the front, I can't help but smirk. The fire-cat is here, growling at us all, steam rising off her fur from her recent trip through the waterfall. Tempting as it is to kill the thing, Kagome gives a cry of delight at the sight of her. She runs forward yelling "Kirara!" and hugs it around the neck. My packmates call "Sister, Sister!" and "It's dangerous!", but she ignores them. The cat likes her too, rubbing her face with its own.

I approach, ignoring the faint growling of the cat.

"Kagome, there's no way that thing can stay here," I tell her matter-of-factly. "A giant fire-cat just doesn't travel with a wolf pack."

With a glare in my direction, the cat suddenly goes up in flames and we shield our eyes. When the fire subsides, a small cat is left, and it promptly jumps into Kagome's arms. Kagome looks to me with pleading eyes. She just looks so desperate, clinging to the little cat, with her face streaked with tears and her body dirty and bruised from the fight. I do want her to be happy here…

I sigh.

"Fine, it stays. But it can't cause any trouble."

The rest of the pack stares at me in disbelief. I give them a glare and they look away. I may have relented for her, but I'm still dominant. This episode has merely elevated her standing, not made me any less powerful. The pack understands this.

Kagome only hugs the little cat closer and retreats to the back of the cave, to our furs. I smile and listen to that in my mind again: our furs. I can't help but think about the family Kagome and I will have. I can just picture our pups. Hanyous, sure, but strong ones, and they won't breed with humans. We'll replenish our pack. The thought of pups makes me shiver with excitement. It's enough to make me want her now… but she's too fragile. I'll give her a few days to learn about her new home, I suppose.

Kagome is strong. I know she will adjust well.