Disclaimer: Inuyasha is owned by Rumiko Takahashi.

Title: "Idiot"-One Shot

Theme: This story was written for the lj community InuyashaxKagome's 20 themes writing project. The theme explored in this story is teamwork.

Genre: Romance

Pairing(s): Inuyasha/Kagome

Rating: PG

Summary: Kagome has been secretly practicing her archery with Sango and Shippo. Miroku also knows about it. Inuyasha is the only one who doesn't. While everyone speculates on Kagome's reasons for wanting to improve her archery skills, Inuyasha wonders if there will ever be a time when Kagome will not need him to protect her anymore.

Author's Note: Special thanks to"rashiea", "truthseeker48", and "maarith" at live journal for beta-ing and prereading my story. I truly appreciate your time and feedback. (Sorry it was a year ago since you guys read it!)

"Idiot"

by jennlynnfs

Kagome decided that she couldn't stand by and let Naraku continue to hurt people. She felt this way when we all learned how Naraku manipulated Kikyo and Inuyasha into hating each other. She was also upset when we all learned how Miroku's family was cursed with the Wind Tunnel. Kagome also didn't like how Naraku pitted Sango against Inuyasha, making her believe that he was responsible for killing everyone in her village.

I'm glad I managed to stay out of Naraku's manipulative schemes. Inuyasha took care of the Thunder Brothers to avenge my father's death.

I think it's when Kagura killed Koga's comrades that Kagome could not take anymore of Naraku's evil actions especially since Kagura tricked Koga into thinking it was Inuyasha who killed his friends.

Boy, Inuyasha gets blamed for a lot of things. It's a good thing that Kagome always sticks by his side every time.

"Shippo! Pay attention!"

"Huh?" Before I realized what happened, Sango sent Kirara to snatch me out of Kagome's arrow's direction.

"Are you alright, Shippo?" Kagome asked. She abandoned her practice position to check on me.

"I'm alright. I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention." I rubbed my head. It hurt a little because I hit my head on the ground, but I wasn't going to say that.

"You don't have to do this, Shippo."

"Sango, I won't mess up again." I stood up. "Now, are you ready?" I asked Kagome.

She nodded and returned to the spot where she was shooting her arrows. Kagome had wanted to practice shooting arrows ever since the incident with Kagura and Koga's friends. The strange thing is, she didn't want Inuyasha to know.

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"Alright, Shippo, send up the next mushroom." I looked at Kagome who gave me a nod that she was ready. "Go Shippo!"

Kagome hit Shippo's magic mushroom with dead accuracy. She had improved a great deal since we started practicing. Truth be told, I don't think she needed my help, but I'm honored that she asked me anyway.

"Sango, I think I need more practice with flying targets."

I nodded my agreement. "Shippo, use your flying horse trick, but try to get it to move faster."

"Right!"

We were supposed to be soaking in a hot spring right now. At least, that's where Inuyasha and Miroku think we are. I wonder what they would think if they knew that we spent some time working on Kagome's archery.

Miroku would probably be a bit disappointed that we weren't bathing and Inuyasha. . . I'm not sure how he would react. I think he'd be surprised at first and then angry. He always gets angry, but I think this time he'd be angry because Kagome is learning not to depend on him so much during a battle.

He should be proud that she wants to be dependable during a battle.

"Sango? How was that?"

"That was good, Kagome. Next time try to let the arrow go a second sooner."

"Right."

She's so determined. In many ways she's a lot like Inuyasha. I'm glad we've managed to all become friends.

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I think I'm actually getting better at this. I mean, I'll never be as good as Kikyo, but at least, my aim has improved.

I'm glad that Shippo and Sango were willing to help me. I don't think I would've gotten better without their help. I was a little embarrassed to ask at first, but I think they did not mind. I have to make sure when I go back to my time that I bring them both special treats.

"Kagome, do you want to try practicing on my snake trick?"

"Sure, Shippo." He's such a sweet kid.

"Keep in mind a snake youkai would be more cunning and not as easy to take down."

"Right, Sango."

At first, I didn't want Sango to know that I was practicing. She's such a good warrior. I was embarrassed to show what a bad shot I was. Then Shippo reminded me that she used to teach her brother Kohoku how to be an exterminator before-

I hate Naraku. I know hate is a strong word, but this is the first time I can say it without hesitation. I hate what he did to Sango and her brother. I hate what he did to Miroku's family and what he did to Koga and his friends.

And. . . yes, I even hate what he did to Inuyasha and Kikyo. I know if Naraku had not interfered, I would've never have. . .

"Kagome, is everything alright?"

"Oh, yeah. Sorry. I just had something in my eye." Now's not the time to get emotional. I can't think about things like that. The next time I face Naraku, it'll be the last.

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"How much longer do you think they'll take?" Inuyasha asked.

"You know how women can be. They're very particular about these kind of things." I couldn't help smiling. "Why? Do you want to check on them?"

"NO! Quit being such a lech." He huffed and turned away from me. I know comments like that lower his opinion of me, but it's so worth seeing his reaction.

"They'll be back soon."

"I know. It's just. . ."

"What?" I sat up.

"Have you. . . There's something different about Kagome."

"Different?"

"I'm not sure what it is, but. . . it's like. . . she's more confident or something."

Ah! That's right. He doesn't know about Kagome's secret practices with Shippo and Sango.

"Perhaps she feels confident that you're by her side."

"But that's just it. I don't think it has anything to do with me."

Was that a sound of hurt in his voice? It didn't happen often, and it has taken me some time to pick up on it. Inuyasha does not let his feelings show. At least, not to anyone besides Kagome.

"Does it bother you?"

He shrugged.

"I have noticed that she takes more shots whenever we're in battle and they're quite accurate."

He grunted.

"That can't possibly bother you, Inuyasha. If anything, you should be proud."

"Of course I am. It's just. . . she doesn't seem like she-"

"Inuyasha, I think Kagome would want you to be able to depend on her just as she depends on you."

"Of course I do."

"It is easy for you to say that, but do you really mean it."

Inuyasha opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Finally he said, "Is there something you're not telling me?"

"Uh. . . what do you mean?"

"You know something."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Sango will kill me if I tell him.

"Did Sango tell you something?"

"Sango?" I have to think fast. "She tells me all kinds of things, but not what I truly want to hear. If she would tell me just to-"

"Shut up! Pervert! Can't you get your mind off such perverted thoughts."

"I try, but Sango is such a beautiful, attractive-"

He covered his ears. "And you wonder why she's always smacking you!" He jumped up onto a tree branch. "I don't want to hear another word out of you."

Heh. Just any mention of impurity towards the fairer sex and he goes fleeing. Once he comes to terms with these type of feelings, he will finally get somewhere with Kagome.

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She's such an idiot.

"Kagome. Wake up." I nudged her shoulder, but she was dead asleep. Well, who the hell falls asleep, sitting up against a tree?

"Kagome?"

"Just one more minute."

I shook my head. How could she ask for one more minute to study when she's unconscious? I took her book from her lap and put it next to her backpack. I know those tests are important to her, but what good is it to study if she just falls asleep anyway.

"Do you need help, Inuyasha?" Sango asked.

"Feh. When she sleeps like this, she's almost impossible to move."

"I can help carry her."

"Forget it. Just go to sleep."

"If you say so. Goodnight."

"Night."

I know Sango is strong enough to carry Kagome, but I think. . . I think Kagome expects me to be the one to do it. It makes no difference to me. It's not like she weighs a ton or anything.

"I could help you, Inuyasha."

"Like hell you will, Miroku."

He laughed. "Just offering."

"Just go to sleep."

I laid out Kagome's sleeping bag and saw that Shippo had chosen a spot next to Kirara. Good. That damn kitsune is always trying to sleep with Kagome. He'll need a talk pretty soon about that.

This was the tricky part. It was one thing to carry Kagome on my back if we were travelling somewhere or if she was hurt. It was another thing to carry her when she was asleep.

Because that meant I'd have to carry her in my arms.

Sometimes it felt like she didn't want me to let go of her. Kagome's never said that, but the way she holds on to me and says my name right before I put her down. . .

I'm not a pervert like Miroku.

But, I don't know. It's nice that she needs me.

I guess that's why I asked Miroku if he noticed anything different about Kagome. She doesn't stay by my side as much as she used to during a battle and she's more bold with taking shots with her arrows. In fact, her miko powers seem to be stronger than ever.

It was like that with Kikyo. Even though we stood by each other's side, looking back, I don't think she really needed me.

Kagome could become that powerful. That self reliant. That self assured.

But, would she ever stop-

"Inuyasha." She whispered.

"Kagome?" I looked over at Kagome's sleeping form. She had somehow managed to shake off part of the sleeping bag that was supposed to cover her. I reached over and pulled it over her shoulder. She let out a sigh and turned over in her sleep.

Idiot. How will she get along without me around?

The End