Like Time, This River Never Stops Flowing

You know what? I'm in love with the Kouga/Ayame pairing, just as I'm in love with the fact that Kouga loves Kagome and Ayame is just the third wheel. Hmm...maybe that why I like the Inuyasha/Kikyo pairing so much. No wait...that's just because I hate Kagome, haha.

Anyway, this is just gonna be a short chapter fic (like most of them have been lately), with lots of romance, drama, and the like. Kouga/Ayame shipping of course. :)

- - -

She was shaking badly. They had just been in a fight, not with each other, but with another demon that had attacked them while they had been walking around the forest. And he had been badly injured because of it. Somehow, she'd managed to half-carry, half-drag his body back with her to the others.

"What happened?" they asked her, taking his limp form from her arms, and lying him on a soft spot in the back.

"I-I don't..." Her legs felt like jelly and she could feel herself sinking to the ground. She was dazed and somewhat in shock; she wasn't sure she'd be able to answer them correctly.

"AYAME! Come on, you have to tell us what happened!"

"Right...s-sorry. Kouga and I were walking t-through the woods, just...you know," she hid her face, blushing madly. "But then we were attacked by this demon. I don't know what kind it was, but Kouga fought it..."

"And he got hurt?"

"Y-Yeah. The demon was stronger than him; it threw him around like a ragdoll. Kouga hit his head, really hard."

Her eyes were quickly welling up with tears, and after a while, she didn't think she'd be able to hold them back much longer. Kouga meant the world to her, and if he died...well, she'd never forgive herself. She watched as his remaining packmates took care of him the best they could; covering him with a warm pelt and running cool water over his face and hair.

"How is he?" she asked, once the other two came back.

"It's hard to tell," one said, frowning. "We'll have to check on him in the morning, or when he regains consciousness."

This was all my fault, she thought to herself. Damn it, why did she have to insist that the two of them take that walk? There were a million other things they could have done, but she chose to take a walk through some demon-infested territory.

She turned away from her friends to look back at him. He was sleeping, which was good, but his breathing was coming in small gasps, which was something she hadn't noticed before. The tears that had threatened to fall before, finally did, allowing her to admit to herself that she had just one choice left...

- - -

"I'm glad we can actually take a break, for once," Kagome said, spreading out the blanket she'd brought with her out on the grass.

"Yeah, it isn't every day we get an opportunity like this," Miroku agreed, stretching his arms, and chancing a sneak attack on Sango's rear, which led to a stinging sensation and a palm print on his left cheek.

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was nice and high, and few clouds spotted the skies. The wind was blowing, which was a little unusual for this time of year, but the breeze felt nice nonetheless. Seeing that there probably wouldn't be another opportunity like this for some time, Kagome, along with plenty agreement from most of the others, decided to have a picnic in celebration of their lastest victory over Naraku and his chronies.

"We shouldn't be doing this at all," Inuyasha countered, from his spot under a shady tree. "A day like today is just the perfect chance Naraku has to catch us off guard. He'd be expecting us to take a break."

Inuyasha was always in a foul mood, but today it was different. Ever since they'd taken a shortcut through the woods, he'd begun to act more cautious and more aware of the things around him. But when they asked him what was wrong, he brushed it off with an excuse about Naraku.

"Even he needs to take a break sometime, Inuyasha," Shippo said, reaching inside Kagome's backpack for whatever food she may have brought with her from her trip home.

"Shippo's right; let's just take it easy for now. Here, I brought you some ramen."

At the sound of one of his favorite foods from Kagome's time, Inuyasha's coyness vanished in an instant. He grabbed the bowl from her, along with a pair of chopsticks, and began eating.

But as all things go, their enjoyment was short-lived; the wind began picking up, and yet the clouds didn't seem to become overcast and the sun was still shining.

Inuyasha was on his toes within seconds, sniffing the air.

"What is it?" Sango asked, referring to any smells he might have picked up.

Inuyasha said nothing, but made somewhat of a disgusted face. He knew that smell all too well. It was masked behind another smell that was also somewhat familiar, but he knew Kouga's stench anywhere. And it was headed right toward them in a whirlwind of power.

The gust of wind stopped in front of them, revealing the user's true form.

"Ayame!" Kagome cried, rushing over to the wolf. "What are you doing here?"

"And where's Kouga?" Inuyasha asked, looking around for where he might be hiding.

"That's what I'm here for," Ayame answered, pushing back all exhaustion from her mind. "Kagome, as much as I hate asking you for this, I need your help. Kouga was injured...and I know your medical practices are better than the ones here."

"But Ayame, I'm not a doctor."

"I know, but...I'm desperate. You must know something."

"Well, okay, I guess I could take a look--"

"--Kagome, we don't have time for this!" Inuyasha yelled, grabbing her arm and attempting to pull her away from Ayame. "We have to find Naraku!"

"That can wait, Inuyasha. Right now, I'm worried about Kouga, and I want to see if he's all right."

Inuyasha was not pleased, so in a last ditch effort, he tried to get Miroku, Sango, and Shippo to see the reasonings behind his words. Unfortunately, they all agreed that Kouga was somewhat a friend of theirs and that they should at least see if they could do anything for him.

Ayame, pleased that they were all willing to help her, quickly led them back to the den. On their way, she explained to them what had happened and what condition Kouga was in when she had last seen him.

When they arrived, Kouga was still sleeping, but was stirring some. Ayame, grateful to see a change in his condition, quickly ran up to him to see if he was all right. Kagome followed her and began performing some basic techniques she had learned in health class. Of course, they hadn't taught her what to do with a head injury, but from the way Ayame had described their battle, she had no doubt that he could have a concussion.

Kouga's eyes fluttered some, until they were fully open. He took in his surroundings first, before looking at the people around him. Then, his eyes stopped on Kagome, and she had a slight feeling that nothing was wrong with him and at all, and in a minute, he would declare his undying love to her. But when his eyes swept past her and landed on Ayame, that's when she knew something was wrong.

"How are you feeling?" Ayame asked, running her fingers over his hand.

There was a few moment's silence, before he said, "I'm better...now that I know that you're here."

- - -

Hmm...I don't know why I chose the traditional spelling for Kouga's name (i.e. Kouga vs. Koga), but for some reason, it was bugging me just seeing the four-letter one as opposed to the five-letter one. I'm weird like that.

Woohoo, I'm going to Six Flags on Monday! Wish me merry times:)