DISCLAIMER: I do not own InuYasha or any of its characters. They were all created by Rumiko Takahashi and belong to her and her publishers/anime people. Look at me, getting all technical about it!

Chapter One:Please Be Together

Kagome's eyes fluttered open as a faint breeze blew over her. She was lying on the ground for some reason. She sat up, confused—and even scared—before frantically whipping her head around to take in her surroundings. Then she seen her sleeping bag a few feet away and smiled as she let out a huge sigh of relief. She'd only rolled out of it during the night! She laughed to herself and put a hand to her forehead. It was easy to be a little paranoid when you were a modern-day girl living in the demon-ridden world of feudal Japan. Loads of demons set out to kill her on a regular basis—for some of them, that was their whole purpose for living—but, still, there were others who were kinder and wanted to protect her. There was InuYasha, for example. She smiled broadly and hugged her arms tighter to herself, suppressing the need to laugh out loud. She'd finally realized that she was in love with him a few days ago. She'd been in her era at that time and it was then that she understood her feelings for him. She was just so shy, though, that she couldn't work up the courage to tell him how she truly felt. But, anyway, that had been awhile back. Now, she was back with InuYasha in feudal Japan again.

At the remembrance of InuYasha, she looked up into the tree where he had decided to sleep for the night. But he wasn't there! Kagome's eyebrows furrowed in worry as she turned all around, looking for him. All she seen was Miroku and Sango, sleeping close to one another about a yard away. When she had looked everywhere that he could possibly have been in the campsite, she decided that he must have woken up before everyone else and decided to take a walk or something. But he never just left like that unless it was for something urgent! Never! Kagome felt her heart speed up. It almost killed her to think of all the times he had left. Every time he had left, it had been for...for...

Kagome shot to her feet and took off through the woods, leaving the peaceful campsite far behind her. She knew exactly where he was, if her suspicions were to be validated. She slowed down as she neared another clearing. She crept up to the edge, hiding behind one of the many enormous tree trunks of the forest, and peeked out at the Sacred Tree. She gasped at what she seen, despite that she had found just what she expected.

InuYasha and Kikyo were there together.

Her instinct had proven to be dead on, after all.

Kagome's vision blurred as she took the scene in. InuYasha was holding her to his chest, her hands flat against his fire-rat kimono, and his arms holding her close to him. She tried, but she couldn't look away. She didn't think she really wanted to. She was a smart girl…and she knew the best way to convince herself of the truth, was to see it for herself. No matter how much it hurt.

"InuYasha..." Kikyo spoke. Her voice was so gentle, so much unlike her usually emotionless tone. Her eyes were soft, as well. It was the same look. The same look that Kagome had this morning! Kagome hugged her arms to her sides and shuddered with suppressed tears. It was the look of…true love. Kikyo sincerely loved InuYasha. 'It's true. I know it's the truth…because—' Kagome felt as though an iron fist was crushing her heart as she admitted it to herself. 'I know Kikyo loves him because I feel the same way.' She closed her eyes to keep the tears locked away. "InuYasha, I wanted you to...to come to Hell with me..." InuYasha's eyes narrowed as he seemed to consider her words. Would he go? Or would he stay? Kagome couldn't be sure. "But I can't ask you that anymore. I can't because...I realize that I don't want you to suffer with me. I want you to be happy. Even if it IS with her, I want you to be happy." Kagome's tears finally broke free of their invisible barrier and flowed down her cheeks as her head snapped up to look at InuYasha and Kikyo. She looked at Kikyo, feeling a vague sense of understanding of how she had been transformed so greatly by the power of genuine love. InuYasha and Kikyo drew away from each other and looked into one another's eyes. Then InuYasha seemed to realize something. He broke eye contact with Kikyo and looked straight at Kagome. She hastily wiped her tears, knowing he must have smelled the salt when she started crying.

"Kagome..." he said, a surprised expression over his face. He took a step towards her and she took a step back. InuYasha looked as if he was about to run at her to keep her from going off by herself, but Kagome put her hands up in surrender and looked away.

"Don't. It's okay, really. You...love her." Kagome looked back at him sadly and gave him a weak smile. "And don't try to deny it. I saw it on your face. You were so happy. Like you were with me. Before." Kagome paused and her smile faded. "I know that you think that you love me, but it isn't true. You love Kikyo, the woman who I was created from. I'm only her reincarnation-just a branch of her. That's why you love me so much. Or think that you do." InuYasha looked shocked and opened his mouth to argue, but Kagome cut him off. "What you and Kikyo had was something really special. But it was brought to a terrible end. You were tricked into hating each other…but neither of you really did, did you? You two could never hate one another. Be together. Please..." Kagome looked at InuYasha pitifully, but half of the sadness she felt wasn't for his and Kikyo's broken love; it was for her broken heart. Though InuYasha might love either Kikyo or her reincarnation, Kagome only loved InuYasha...and there weren't any reincarnations that she could run to like him. She wouldn't be sad though. Not now. She had to smile and pretend everything was okay, so that InuYasha could be happy. She smiled cheerfully at the baffled InuYasha as he began to speak in a dazed tone.

"Are you...are you feeling okay, Kagome?" Kagome's eye twitched irritably as she fought the urge to yell, "sit" at the top of her lungs.

"I'm fine. Just-just promise me that you two will always be happy with one another. Never be fooled again. Not by anyone. Okay?" InuYasha held his confused expression for a few moments longer as he said,

"But I thought...that you loved me, too." Kagome took a deep breath and let it out slowly. This was hard for her to say, but it made it easier when she remembered it was for the happiness of otherwise star-crossed lovers. 'Sound convincing…sound convincing…'

"Huh? Are you kidding? No way! You're way too obnoxious! That's no way of winning a girl's affections..." InuYasha's confused expression vanished as he smiled at her. He...smiled. Kagome's smile no longer had to be pasted on when she realized this. He never smiled like that. Never.

"Kagome..." Kikyo began as she came up behind InuYasha and laced her hand with his. InuYasha glanced down at it and smiled, then looked back at Kagome. "Thank you. I really mean it, Kagome. Thank you." Kagome nodded once, still smiling, though it was being pasted back on once again.

"No problem! I hope you two are together forever!" Kagome turned around and walked into the forest again.

"Kagome! Where're you going all alone?!" InuYasha's voice shouted after her.

"Um...home! Back through the well! I'll visit, promise!" Kagome broke into a run, but she wasn't quite sure if it was in the direction of the Bone-Eater's well or not. She kept running, tears flowing down her face at a remarkable rate, and eventually ran into a tree. The impact knocked her silly and she collapsed to the ground, holding her head. "Well, that certainly was stupid, Kagome!" She scolded herself. When she came back to sense, she drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. 'It was stupid. It was the dumbest thing you've ever done! Why would you just let him go...?' Kagome rested her chin on her knees as she thought about it again. The image of InuYasha and Kikyo, before InuYasha had realized she had found them, flashed before her eyes for a moment. He looked so happy. It was then that she understood herself. 'I did it because I love him. Love makes people do stupid things...and it makes them hurt themselves.' Kagome buried her face in her knees and began to cry again.

"Human girl. The one that travels with my half-breed brother," a deep, silky voice stated. Kagome stopped crying as her head shot up to look at Sesshomaru, InuYasha's full-demon brother. She stood, brushed off her skirt, and turned to walk off in the general direction of the well without answering. She reached up and wiped her tears when Sesshomaru spoke again. "He's been with the clay-pot again. A suitable pairing for a half-breed..." Kagome stopped and clenched her fists in anger...but then she loosened them and took a deep breath. It wasn't exactly smart for her to disrespect this guy when she was out in the forest all alone without her bow and arrows. Without turning around, she responded in an even tone,

"For your information, I told him that I didn't mind him being with her anymore. There's no sense in them being apart now that they know the truth of what Naraku did, now is there? The only reason InuYasha was even staying away was because he thought that he was in love with me." Kagome stood up straight and finished wiping her face. She didn't turn around to look at Sesshomaru and began walking again. She wondered if her family would be back from their vacation at the hot spring resort yet. She didn't exactly want to come home to an empty house.

"How foolish humans are to cause themselves pain for people who care nothing of others. I trust that you sincerely believe that you are hiding your emotions well? How naive." Kagome bowed her head and began walking again. 'I'm so weak...so stupid and weak!' She suddenly heard rapid footsteps behind her and spun around with fear written all over her face. Sesshomaru was running towards her, drawing Tokijin as he went, and his face looked even more heartless than usual. She was going to die! Kagome took a few steps back and closed her eyes. Soon she felt excruciating pain jolt all though her body as something razor-sharp dug into her left side. She opened her eyes and seen Sesshomaru raise his sword and plunge it down towards her for a second strike. Everything went dark before the blade made contact.