Disclaimer: (checks mailbox) Nope, still don't own Inuyasha. Pity.

Arguments

It was a typical argument. Later, they wouldn't even remember what they had been fighting about, only that it seemed important at the time. Sango and Miroku exchanged glances and rolled their eyes. Shippou and Kirara simply continued their game of tag, completely ignoring the squabble.

WHACK!

Everyone turned to stare in shock. Inuyasha stood with his fist still raised; the force of the blow had left Kagome sprawled on the ground. Her expression was more surprised than hurt, as if she was still trying to understand what had just transpired. A bruise was starting to form under her left eye, blood trickling from a shallow cut.

Inuyasha slowly lowered his fist, his eyes changing back to their normal amber color. He started to shake.

"Kagome." What could he say? The deed was done; the bruise was there. He had lost control; he had hurt her.

"Inuyasha." She was starting to regain her wits, and the blank look on his face was scaring her worse than his momentary transformation. "Inuyasha, it's-"

He didn't wait to her the rest. He turned and fled into the forest. Without a second thought, Kagome struggled to her feet and went after him.

There was an uncomfortable silence. "Well," Sango said, "I didn't see that one coming."

"Neither did I." Miroku agreed. "Let's hope they can work it out."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Inuyasha!" Kagome sank down into the roots of an old oak tree and leaned against the trunk. Dang, my head hurts. Well, small wonder it hurts, he was pretty pissed. What the devil did I say that got him that mad?

"Kagome, what are you doing out here without mutt-face?"

The miko rolled her eyes. She wasn't in the mood for Kouga's antics today. "His name is Inuyasha, wolf, and I am trying to find him." She looked up to find him standing over her, uncomfortably close.

"Looks like someone did a number on you." he observed. A wicked grin spread across his face. "Makes my job easier."

Kagome arched an eyebrow in a politely disbelieving manner. "And what job would that be?"

"Making you my mate."

She snorted. "I'm gonna have to be more than just bruised for that to happen, Kouga." she warned.

The wolf youkai didn't even respond. He lunged for her, but Kagome ducked underneath him and sprang to her feet, racing through the trees. Good thing I decided to wear jeans today! she thought grimly.

Despite her head start, Kouga was closing in fast. She cursed herself for stupidly leaving her bow at the camp. Deprived of her weapons, she did the only thing she could.

"INUYASHA!"

OOOOOOOOOOOOO

Inuyasha raced through the woods at breakneck speed. He had been hiding from Kagome to give them both a chance to calm down before he even attempted an apology. From the sound of her scream, she had come looking for him.

He finally reached the small clearing and froze. Kouga stood over her, holding her down while he struggled to find a way to take off her pants. She called them jeans. Guess they really are as durable as she said. The wolf youkai had already torn her shirt.

Inuyasha saw and processed all of this in approximately thirty seconds. He grabbed Kouga by the scruff of his neck and threw him into the trees. Completely disregarding the youkai, he turned and leaned over Kagome, putting his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to get her attention.

"Kagome?" He gently shook her. "Kagome, look at me."

She snapped out of her daze and looked up at him. "Inuyasha." she breathed. She struggled to sit up. Inuyasha pulled her to him, letting her lean against him. "Thank goodness you came."

Inuyasha flashed a smirk. "You thought I wouldn't?" he teased. Turning serious, he held her back at arm's length to inspect the damage. He quickly noticed the blood beneath her nails. Kouga's. "You fought?"

"You thought I wouldn't?"

He shook his head. "I'm amazed you drew blood." he said. "You're getting stronger."

Kagome smiled at him. "About bloody well time, too."

Inuyasha took off his haori and wrapped it around her. She was still shaking. "Kagome, I – I never meant to hurt you."

Kagome smiled again. "I know. Don't worry about it."

Inuyasha blinked and shook his head. "You are entirely too forgiving." he muttered. "Thanks."

"What? You're my best friend. I'm not gonna hold a grudge over something like this." She leaned against him again. "Let's get out of here before Kouga wakes up." Inuyasha nodded and picked her up bridal-style. He ran back to the camp.

OOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Good heavens, Inuyasha, what happened?" Miroku exclaimed. Inuyasha glared at him to lower his voice and sat down by the campfire, keeping Kagome safe in his arms.

"Kouga tried to rape her." he said quietly. He leaned back and closed his eyes, effectively ending the conversation. He held Kagome close, a million thoughts whirling through his mind.

You're my best friend, Kagome. I won't let anyone hurt you, not even me. He sighed softly.

It's time to see Totosai about my sword.

AN: How'd ya like it? I think this is my best one yet. Reviews are appreciated. Hope it was long enough for ya. smirks