Kagome's Garden

Disclaimer: Hmmm…. How should I put this? I guess I'll come straight out and say it. Me… No own… dis stuff… Understand? And that includes both of the songs that I used in this one.


Kagome was wandering through a forest, nervously glancing around whenever she heard a sound. The full moon glowed brightly, but it only made the shadows larger. Some of the trees were larger than three feet in radius, making some sections of the forest extremely dense.

Kagome whirled around at the snap of a twig. The fact that she saw nothing did little to put her nerves at ease. She bit her bottom lip and turned to continue on her way, scolding herself for getting separated form the others, all the while thinking about how she had gotten into this situation.

They had been fighting a large snake youkai with six jewel shards. Another youkai had come and stolen one of the shards; Kagome had chased after it to retrieve the shard. Eventually she purified the youkai and collected the shard only to realize that she had absolutely no idea where she was.

So now she was walking back in the general direction that she thought her companions might be. Inuyasha was never going to let her hear the end of this. Kagome sighed and turned around to watch her surroundings as she walked.

She wouldn't be so worried if there was a little more noise other than herself. The wind, night animals, something, but there wasn't, there was nothing, that was what scared her.

She turned back to face the direction she was walking, since she didn't see anything but shadows, only to freeze at the sound of a voice behind her.

"Now what is a lovely, young miko such as yourself doing in an evil, dark forest such as this?" Kagome whirled back around hoping to see the owner of the deep voice only to come face to face with a pair of deep, molten gold eyes.

The miko fell backwards at the youkai's sudden appearance. Once she looked back up her lungs refused to work.

Standing before her was a tall, silver kitsune that seemed to be looking down at her in amusement. He had two silver fox ears sprouting from the crown of his head. Silver hair like silk cascaded down his back to just below his waist. A silver fox tail twitched spasmodically in amusement. Molten gold eyes seemed to be looking straight into her soul.

Kagome's lungs finally began to work again, causing her breath to come in short pants. Heat rose to her cheeks as a smirk played across his lips.

"I apologize; I didn't frighten you, did I?" A deep chuckle followed his voice, causing an involuntary shudder to make its ay down her spine. The kitsune's smirk grew as he saw the shiver.

Kagome crawled backward until she was able to stand up without being too close the youkai. When she was finally on her feet, she noticed the slightly confused look on his face. The smirk was gone and a small frown had replaced it. Not wanting to see what he was confused about, she started to back away slowly.

A vine shot out of the ground and quickly latched onto her ankle, winding its way up her leg and stopping on her knee, just below her black skirt. (She had stopped wearing her school uniform in favor of a blue shirt and a longer black skirt so she wouldn't ruin her uniform.) Kagome tried to pull away, but the small thorns tore her skin, causing her to hiss painfully.

"That will hurt more if you move." The silver's deep voice came to her reminding her of his presence. "That's strange; they don't want you to leave." The last comment seemed thoughtful.

"What do you mean? 'Don't want me to leave?'" Kagome asked. She just wanted to return to her friends, not be caught in a clearing with a strange kitsune, a breed of demon known for their sensuality. She could protect herself from him, her miko powers would make sure that he didn't hurt her if he came too close, but if he was able to use plants, she was in for some trouble.

"I have control over plants-"

Just my luck,

"-and with that comes the ability to communicate with them."The silver raised his hand in a seemingly harmless gesture, but rose bushes began to grow around the clearing. Crimson roses bloomed all around them, and several tiny blossoms appeared on the vines holding the miko in place, tickling her skin.

"All the plants in this forest have told me that you are a calming presence to them, even in your panic, just as I am." He flicked his hand to the side and more plants began to cover the trees and forest floor, varying in colors from black to baby blue. "Plants do as I ask, and in return, I protect them, care for them, and make them grow."

The vine on Kagome's leg loosened as to not hurt her anymore as she fell to the ground in awe at the beauty around her. Tentatively, as if she would break it, she gently touched the petal of a deep blue lily. It felt like silk under her fingers and the whole blossom seemed to lean into her touch.

The kitsune watched the miko with interest. She was a strange one; not only did the plants love her, but she held several purified jewel shards with her, and if there was something the thief didn't come across often, that was it. In my opinion, they are much more beautiful than those black ones that Naraku character offered me. Another thing was that she smelled of another kitsune, a young one at that, yet there was no sign of the kit's parents. His eyes narrowed. Kitsune were extremely protective of their young, so where were his parents?

"Shippo would love this…" Kagome murmured, forgetting about the youkai's superior hearing. The silver's ears swiveled to focus on her voice. "I still need to find someone to teach him about his powers…" She seemed to be a little distraught about this 'Shippo,' and, without his command, the plants that he had grown as a demonstration were trying to comfort her.

Curiosity took hold of the kitsune, after all they are well know for being the most curious of all youkai, save maybe the neko, and he cocked his head to the side like a child. "Who is Shippo? It's a kitsune name, is it not?" He watched as she tensed slightly, but allowed the plants to relax her. The young miko nodded slowly as a soft smile graced her lips, causing the silver's heart to skip a beat. Well, that's never happened before.

"He is my adoptive kit; I took him in after his parents were murdered and have been caring for him since." Kagome's eyes nearly glowed with fondness and love for the kit. "He is growing with his powers though, and I can't teach him how to control them." Her smile faded, leaving the plants and the fox missing the happiness in her aura.

Kagome sighed. "Can you have the plants release me now? I don't want to have to purify them so I can leave." Her voice was soft and not nearly as convincing or threatening as she wanted it to be.

The silver smirked. "No; we haven't been properly introduced. I am Youko Kurama." Youko bowed at the waist elegantly. "And your name, lovely miko, is?" Her waited for her answer while taking note of her blush and smirking wider.

"Kagome, Higurashi Kagome." Why am I blushing?! I'm in love with Inuyasha, aren't I? Kagome stopped at that thought, and a tear fell down her cheek as the realization hit her, though it was quickly wiped away by a lily. No… I'm not. Another tear slid down her face, only to be wiped away, not by a plant, but by Youko.

He had been thinking about how well the name fit her when he smelled salt. Brought out of his thoughts, he turned to the miko before him, concerned. The plants didn't like to see her upset, at least, that was what he said his reason was, though deep down, neither did he.

"You shouldn't cry; it isn't as becoming as usual." He smiled softly at her, hoping she would smile back. What is it about this girl that makes me want to comfort her, not seduce her, though the urge is definitely still there. When she did smile thankfully, his heart jumped into his throat. Now that's definitely a first.

"Arigatou, but I really should be getting back to my friends." She looked away from his molten gold eyes before she became lost in them. "Inuyasha is going to yell at me enough as it is." She heard the kitsune scoff.

"Then why are you willing to go back to him in the first place?" A protectiveness toward the miko suddenly swelled inside him. He noticed that his hand was still resting on her cheek, but he had no notion to remove it and gently stroked her cheek with his thumb.

Kagome closed her eyes and leaned slightly into his touch. Why am I reacting like this? She didn't want Youko to think that she was won over that easily like some common whore.

Youko, however, was quite pleased with the miko's reaction and decided to up her reaction level a notch. Discreetly, he made another plant, different from all the others, grow. A smooth vine wrapped around her arm, a few millimeters above her skin so she wouldn't feel it. A single purple flower bloomed at her shoulder where she wouldn't notice it, yet she would still take in the scent.

Almost immediately, she leaned into his touch more. Ah, the wonders a weak aphrodisiac can do.

Kagome felt herself lean into his touch more, but couldn't' stop herself. Dang it! I should've expected an aphrodisiac!

"You know that's cheating, right?" She heard the youkai chuckle and opened her eyes to glare at him. He had the innocent face that she saw all the time on a certain hentai houshi that she had to laugh at the similarities.

Youko was surprised when she began to laugh, but was soon enjoying the sound. She looked like she hadn't really laughed in a long time, and a part of the silver took pride in the fact that he was the one to make her laugh like that, even if the aphrodisiac also had something to do with it. Thought he had known her for a top of 15 minutes, he was already getting attached to her. Strange, I haven't been attached to anyone since Kuronue, even the one that I stayed with for more than just one night, must be because the plants are attached to her.

Kagome managed to quiet her laughter then brushed the purple flower off her shoulder. She was still smiling, but she didn't want the effects of an aphrodisiac still hanging over her head when she finally made it back to her friends, so she would have to stay a while with a strange kitsune that might kill her any moment to wait for the effects to wear off.

She took a moment to view the ever growing garden around her. Vines covered with flowers wound around the trees, blanketing the large structures with colored petals. Various, beautiful plants grew up from the forest floor around her, tickling her bare shins. It truly was beautiful.

Youko watched the miko, bringing his hand away from her face. He sat back a little with a barely noticeable smile on his face. He liked this one; she was kind… well, she had purified him on sight at least, she was fairly beautiful, the plants adored her, and she appeared to have a feisty spirit. Yes, he could honestly say that he was interested in more than just her body, though that was always a plus.

They spent a few minutes like that, just enjoying each other's company.

Once Kagome had gotten over the effects of the aphrodisiac, she looked down only to see that she was being help by many more plants. The one on her leg was still there, but another one had gripped her wrist, while a nice with thorns similar to a rose's was wrapped firmly around her waist, but no too tightly.

She looked up at Youko and glared at him. At his questioning look she pointed to the vines, ignoring the slight shock that came across the kitsune's face. "I still have to return to my friends, you know." She didn't want to leave the garden yet, but she didn't want Inuyasha to come here and probably destroy it all more.

Youko look contemplative, but judging from the slight rustling of the plants around her, he was communicating with them. Soon the plants quieted, but nuzzled closer to her. She turned back to Youko, waiting for him to call them off.

"You will be able to leave, but I must come with you as a way for your aura to be transferred to the plants I control." Youko watched in satisfaction as she reacted the way he expected her to: in anger.

"There is absolutely no way I'm going to let you get involved with me anymore than you already are!" Her face was flushed with anger, though Youko wasn't sure what she was mad at more, the fact that he wanted to come, or the fact that she wanted him to.

Youko smirked and settled into the tree that was behind him. "Then I guess we're going to be here a while." Kagome huffed and looked away from him. They sat for a while in a semi-awkward silence, Youko watching Kagome, and Kagome watching the plants or the stars.

"Ne, Kagome?" Youko was now watching the stars. He wanted to get this straightened out.

"Hai, Youko?" Kagome shuddered; she loved the way Youko said her name. It was nice to hear it in a friendly conversation without Lady attached to it, and it was a good change from wench, girl, idiot girl, and all the other pet names Inuyasha oh so kindly gave her. (AN: Anyone else sense some sarcasm there?)

"Why don't you want me to help you? It wouldn't be hard, not after all I've been through." Youko turned his gaze pointedly to her.

Kagome was still watching the starts, but looked to the ground when she felt his gaze on her. She knew she probably couldn't tell him about her quest for the Shikon no Kakera, but she felt that she could trust him, for whatever reason.

"Everyone who comes in contact with the shards of the Shikon no Tama seems to suffer. I'm its guardian. If you get involved with me, I'm afraid you'll suffer too." She looked up at him with pleading eyes, trying to get him to understand that she wanted to protect him. "The less people who come into contact with jewel, the better. Please understand."

Youko looked into her eyes, and read in them her plea, but dismissed it. For some reason, he wanted to help her, and what he wanted either he got or he did, so he was going to help her, whether she wanted him to or not. He shook his head then looked up to smirk at her.

"Usually, I would abide by a woman's wishes, but now I have the plants' wishes to consider, as well as my own." He watched in amusement as her face went from pleading to shock, anger, and finally acceptance and a little thankfulness. "I will be accompanying you, wherever your journey takes you, and, through me, your aura will calm all the plants connected to me, and, I can help your kit with his powers."

Kagome scowled. She hated being used like a tool, especially be someone who looked so much like a certain inu hanyou, but she guessed that she would be able to do it for Shippo. She turned away from him, pouting a little. I'm not going to be able to get out of this one. She heard Youko chuckle and scowled swiftly at him before she returned to pouting.

Youko chuckled again and began watching her. She seemed to be begging to be embraced, but just when he was about to give into the temptation, she stopped pouting and began singing to herself.

Youko pouted just as she had, thinking that she was teasing him when he heard her enchanting voice rise and fall, the plants swaying back and forth with the beat.

"Can I ask you a question, please?
Promise you won't laugh at me.
Honestly, I'm standing here,
Afraid I'll be betrayed."

Youko regarded her in amazement. He knew she had a beautiful voice, but he didn't expect her to know how to use it. This miko was becoming more interesting with every minute he was in her presence.

"As twisted as it seems,
I only fear love when it's in my dreams.
So let the morning come in
And let the darkness fade away."

The vines holding her retreated and she stood, slowly twirling around. Kagome forgot that Youko was watching, she forgot about her quest, Naraku, the jewel; she could only think about the song and the dance.

"Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?"

Youko watching in awe as her skirt whirled around her legs. Her hair flowed down her back and over her shoulder. Her voice filled the entire clearing. She's like an angel.

"Drowning in my loneliness,
How long must I hold my breath?
So much emptiness inside,
I could fill the deepest sea."

Kagome loved to dance. It was one of the few times that she was able to be free from all the troubles that had started on her 15th birthday.

"I reach to the sky s the moon looks on. One last year has come and gone.
Time to let your love rain down on me."

Inuyasha had never appreciated her dancing and would tell at her to stop wasting time, but she wasn't wasting time. Her teacher had been the only demon to be able to hide from Reikai in her era, an elegant dragon/phoenix youkai that has seen far more than her share of battles.

"Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?"

Her teacher had a saying that Kagome would often repeat, mostly to Inuyasha when he was yelling at her.

"'Cause
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love.
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love.
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love."

"Being able to do every step of a dance perfectly every time is more difficult than facing your toughest opponent. If you can do this, you can do anything you want."

I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love."
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love."
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love."

Youko would have loved to continue watching her, but a set of approaching youki continued to nag him. Scowling, the kitsune turned to the direction it was coming from, while still keeping an eye on his dancing miko.

"Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?
Can you turn my black roses red?
'Cause I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love.
I'm feeling like I'll blame it on love."

Kagome held out the last note as she finished the last twirl of the dance. She saw Youko emotionlessly staring into the distance from his seat by a tree, the flowers scattered around him like a thrown. She walked over to him, smiling as she caught her breath from the dance.

Youko glanced at her and felt his heart skip a beat. That's been happening a lot today. Breathless and a little disheveled from dancing, she looked gorgeous. He smiled at her and nodded slightly.

"Tell me, are your companions a fire cat, an inu hanyou, one that is in a very foul mood might I add, a kit and two humans?" Youko asked, already knowing the answer. The kit's scent was the same as the Shippo she had spoken of.

Kagome nodded and scowled slightly at the comment about Inuyasha's mood. I am SO going to be in for an ear full, both for running off like that, and for bringing Youko into the group. Kagome turned to the silver sitting beside her and looked down at him. "Shippo is probably going to launch himself at you and begin asking you a thousand questions a minute, but please, please leave Inuyasha to me; if he makes me mad enough you may get to see something that you will find entertaining."

Youko raised an eyebrow at her, but nodded nonetheless. "They will arrive in around… three seconds."

Right on time, Inuyasha came bursting through the line of trees, growling. He spotted the silver and gripped Tetsusaiga. "Teme! Who do you think you are!?" Youko merely raised an eyebrow at the hanyou's brashness while Inuyasha turned to Kagome. "Wench, get behind me; I'll kill him with one swing."

Kagome sighed, trying to calm herself, but gasped when she felt a hand grip her wrist and pull her down. Giving a small yelp of surprise, the miko fell on Youko's lap. Before she could protest, the fox had already wrapped his arms around her waist and set his chin on her shoulder so he could watch Inuyasha's reaction. It was humorous to say the least.

His eyes nearly fell out of his head and his jaw fell to the floor. Kagome felt Youko's chest rumble against her back as he chuckled silently. Against her better judgment, Kagome shuddered and blushed faintly. Youko noticed and smirked, his tail wrapping around the bare half of her legs, causing the girl in his arms to blush more.

Inuyasha's shock quickly gave way to anger. He unsheathed his father's fang and pointed it at the smirking kitsune. "Get your hands off her, you… you… you FOX!"

Youko chuckled out loud. "Is that all you can think of, hanyou?" He shook his head a little in dismay. "I guess Sesshomaru was right; you are pathetic."

Inuyasha was shaking with rage, and Kagome was starting to worry that he would attack the silver kitsune even with her in his lap. "Youko, please. Inuyasha, please calm down; Youko is-" A childish voice interrupted her.

"Kagome!" A small red blur dashed through the garden and latched onto the miko. "I was so scared!" Taking a single breath, he launched into his epic tail. "You disappeared and we didn't know where to find you then Inuyasha started telling and just ran off and we couldn't keep so I had to follow your scent on Kirara then I jumped off and ran to you and told you that-"

"Shippo, breathe." Kagome was smiling down at her surrogate kit, while Youko was chuckling in amusement at the other kitsune's enthusiasm that he hadn't taken a second breath through the entire story.

His chuckle caught Shippo's attention. Looking up he saw a pair of laughing golden eyes in a sea of silver over Kagome's shoulder. Taking in the ears poking of the silver hair and the tail around his mother's legs, his eyes widened when he looked back up at the other kitsune. "Kaa-san… that's a kitsune!" He scrambled over Kagome's shoulder to sit on Youko's and began chattering away.

Kagome laughed at her son; he was just so cute! "Shippo, this is Youko Kurama, he made the garden we are currently in." The kit stopped talking a moment to gaze in awe at the beauty around them.

Youko smiled at the kit. I like him already. I have his favor, now all I have to do is win the girl. He gazed fondly at the smiling girl in his arms. He didn't want to see her cry again, even if it was only a few tears.

Just as Shippo was about to launch into complementing and questioning the older youkai again, Sango burst through the trees on Kirara with Miroku behind her. At the sight of Kagome in the arms of a strange kitsune with Shippo on his shoulder, all of them stopped, not sure of what to make of the scene. Soon, Miroku broke into a lecherous grin. "So, Lady Kagome… what have you been doing?"

Kagome blushed madly and Youko grinned. "Miroku, you HENTAI!" Sango brought her hiraikotsu down on the houshi's head. Youko arched an eyebrow and turned to the miko.

"Does this happen often?" He chuckled in amusement as they watched the houshi try to apologize only to grope the taijiya. Now he had a bump on his head and a bright read handprint on his cheek.

Kagome nodded, smiling a little. Shippo shook his head in disbelief. "He'll never learn." Shippo then noticed how well Kagome seemed to fit in Youko's arms and smiled mischievously. Youko caught his smile and chuckled; traveling with them was going to be extremely interesting, not to mention enjoyable with the kit and his mother.

Inuyasha, tired of being ignored, started to rant at Kagome again. Through his yelling, Miroku asked Kagome who the kitsune was. "This is Youko Kurama; he'll be traveling with us from now on."

Everyone stopped to wait for their hanyou companion's response. Inuyasha stood still for a few moments before blowing up. "NANI!?"

Kagome winced at the volume of Inuyasha's complaint. "I'm sorry, Inuyasha, but either he comes with us or I stay with him." Her voice was soft, almost as if she was ashamed of it. Youko muzzled her neck in a comforting manner, reminding her that this was his fault.

"Neither of those are going to happen; you're coming with us and he's staying to tend to his girly flowers." Inuyasha's grip on Tetsusaiga tightened. I am NOT going to lose Kagome to some fox!

"I'm sorry, Inuyasha, but I don't have a choice." Kagome bowed her head and unconsciously fell back into Youko's embrace more. Sensing her discomfort, Youko tightened his hold on her protectively. Kagome smiled weakly, knowing that he would see it. Youko used his tail to pull her legs into a more comfortable position; this could take a while.

"Don't make yourself comfortable, fox!" Inuyasha spat the last word as if it was a curse. Shippo flinched at he disdain in the hanyou's voice. Youko noticed the kit's reaction and growled at the hanyou.

"If you must try to insult me, use a less general term; using 'fox' means that you've included the kit." Kagome still had her head bowed, but Youko could feel the anger beginning to roll of her in waves. If the hanyou isn't careful, my little miko is going to purify him.

"Keh! I don't care!" Shippo whimpered and tried to burrow into Youko and Kagome's hair to hide. "Just get off MY Kagome!" Youko snarled as he felt Kagome freeze.

"Youko, Shippo?" Both foxes glanced at her. "Cover your ears." Immediately, Shippo clapped his paws over his ears, and Youko's ears swiveled around and pressed against his head, but he would not release the miko.

"OSUWARI!" Inuyasha's face slammed into the ground. Youko looked on in amazement before laughing heartily, though he kept his ears pinned. Kagome smiled at him as if saying, 'I told you so,' before glaring at the hanyou struggling to break the spell.

"First of all, Youko is coming with us, unless you want me to stay here." Sango and Miroku watched in slight shock as their friend continued. "Second, OSUWARI! Never insult or scare my kit!" Shippo looked up at Kagome with teary eyes and a watery smile. She smiled reassuringly at him then turned back to Inuyasha. "Third, osuwari, I'm not yours." Her voice lowered so she wasn't yelling anymore, and the sit command wasn't as strong as before. "You're starting to sound like Kouga."

Youko looked questioningly at Shippo, raising a delicate eyebrow. Shippo crawled on top of the older kitsune's head and whispered into his ear. "Kouga is a wolf youkai; he has a Shikon shard in each of his legs and he continues to proclaim 'kaa-san as 'his woman,' no matter how many times she denies it."

Youko growled lowly and pulled Kagome back into his chest. He whispered softly so the miko couldn't hear him but Shippo could. "Then we'll have to remedy that, won't we?" Shippo smiled; he like his 'kaa-san's new guardian.

Inuyasha finally was able to stand. He growled at the fox, who snarled viciously in return before nuzzling Kagome's neck, trying to clam her down. The scent of salt drifted to the hanyou, causing him to pause. Shippo had jumped into her lap again and was tapping her cheek gently with one paw. Plants swayed comfortingly around her.

"Perhaps we could stet up camp here for tonight. What do you say, Inuyasha?" Miroku gave the hanyou a pointed glare that told him not to argue.

"Keh!" Inuyasha sheathed Tetsusaiga and jumped into a tree. He watched as Youko closed his eyes for a moment then opened them, just as some plants either grew or shrank to make the clearing a suitable camp for them. Shippo gazed at everything in awe, while Miroku and Sango appeared to be wary. They were, but they trusted Kagome's judgment, plus this kitsune seemed to truly care for her.

Shippo curled up on Kagome's lap and fell into a peaceful sleep. Sango and Miroku soon followed him into dreamland. Kagome never fell asleep, but she did stay in Youko's arms, lost in thought. Youko knew that she was awake, so he continued to hold her, letting her know that he wouldn't leave.

After a while, Youko spoke, quietly so the others weren't disturbed. "You should get some sleep, Vixen; we have a long day tomorrow." Kagome jumped slightly at his voice, before realizing where she was trying to get up. Youko held her down, content to have her in his arms and knowing that it would be more comfortable there than on the forest floor. "You might not want to struggle as you are now doing."

Kagome stopped immediately as the kitsune's deep voice came from right beside her ear. A chuckle came from him and she felt him bury his face in her neck. Holding back a shudder, she managed to turn around without waking up her kit.

Youko's ears and tail twitched in amusement as she looked back up into his eyes, not sure what to do next. Youko's arms were still around her waist, so she was still in a compromising position. Almost immediately after looking up into his eyes, her own were drawn to the two furry appendages on top of his head. Can't resist…must… tweak!

Faster than Youko had thought possible in her tired state, the miko reached up and began rubbing the fox's ears. Said fox's eyes widened in surprise before closing in bliss. He began purring under the ministrations, eliciting a giggle from the miko.

Only Youko heard the growl emanating from the tree that the hanyou had taken refuge in. When Kagome squealed softly in delight at the sight of his twitching tail, Youko threw a triumphant smirk in Inuyasha's general direction, causing the growling to increase.

Sure, Kagome had realized that Youko had ears and a tail, but with all that had been going on, it had only just now clicked. She marveled at the silky texture of all three appendages; it was much like Inuyasha's but much better.

Remembering something, Kagome look back up at Youko while continuing to pet his tail which had snaked across her lap and was moving back and forth slightly in contentment. "Youko?" He gave a questioning hmm since he had his eyes closed from enjoyment. "How do you know Sesshomaru?"

Youko opened an eye slightly before tightening his hold around her waist. "We almost grew up together, meaning we ran into one another a few times and sparred. We both have whips as our dominant weapons, so we taught each other through trial and error." Pausing he opened both eyes and smiled slightly. "He's not as bad as he makes everyone believe he is, you just have to earn his respect first."

Turning her around without waking Shippo then pulling her back to his chest, he settled back into the tree he was leaning against and closed his eyes again. "The last time I saw him was when he was, amazingly, drained of power from a battle with this Naraku character, not that anyone would really be able to tell."

Kagome laughed lightly and leaned back into his arms while stroking both his and Shippo's tails. "That little girl with him, Rin I think, was extremely protective of him until he told her that I was not threat. After I arrived, Sesshomaru actually fell asleep, which was stating how exhausted her was. Rin and I stayed awake, talking about whatever, until dawn, when I made her go to bed."

Kagome almost burst out laughing, but help back all but a giggle. Youko opened his eyes to look at her questioningly; she just shook her head. "It's just a little hard for me to imagine you as a babysitter." Youko blinked then chuckled, pulling her farther into him.

"Sesshomaru woke up later and talked of a miko he met recently. She wasn't afraid of him, and even though he tried to kill her, she could still treat him with respect if he ever met her outside of battle." Kagome began to feel weary as she leaned further into his embrace. "The only thing that kept him from completely respecting her was the fact that she traveled with his half-brother."

Kagome looked up, having a little trouble understanding where he was going. Youko rolled his eyes and looked deep into hers. "Vixen, you're probably the first ningen onna, let alone miko, to gain even an ounce of Sesshomaru's respect, but he refuses to acknowledge you because of who you travel with."

Kagome's eyes saddened a little, but she still smiled. "I don't mind, although it hurts to know that the taiyoukai who has tried to kill me has more respect for me than the hanyou I travel with."

Youko could feel the hanyou tense from his position in the tree across the clearing. He nuzzled her hair, comforting her somewhat. "I travel with you now, Vixen, and I respect you more than both of them combined." Kagome relaxed against him and began to fall asleep.

"Doushite?" Youko blinked at the question. "Why do you respect me so much?"

Youko chuckled and tightened his hold on her again. "What truly caught my attention was hearing that you cared for an orphaned kitsune; I had to see if a ningen miko would truly care for a youkai." He nuzzled her hair a little more this time. "I'm not disappointed." He whispered in her ear, sending a shiver down her spine.

Youko smiled down at her and listened to her breathing. Softly, almost timidly, she began to sing again.

"Paper flowers.

I linger in the doorway;
Our alarm clock screaming,
Monster's calling my name.
Let me stay,
Where the wind will whisper to me,
Where the raindrops, as they're falling, tell a story."

Youko listened to her voice intently, trying to memorize the sound of every rise and fall in her voice, so he would be able to recognize her anywhere.

"In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby,
I lie inside myself for hours,
And watch my purple sky fly over me."

Kagome felling into Youko's embrace but continued to sing. She felt safe around him, and hearing that he still cared about her even after what Inuyasha did only made her feelings for him grow, and those for Inuyasha continue to fall to a sibling level.

"Don't say I'm out of touch,
With this rampant chaos – your reality.
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge,
The nightmare I built my own to world to escape."

Inuyasha listened to her too. Her voice truly was beautiful, but he had always yelled at her, believing that she would always forgive him and once Naraku was defeated, she would sing for him all the time, but now he was losing her to a fox, and fast.

"In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby,
I lie inside myself for hours,
And watch my purple sky fly over me."

Kirara opened an eye to watch her mistress's 'little sister' lay in the arms of the new kitsune. This new one was looking down at Kagome with an emotion that Kirara knew well: love. This guy would be good for her; from what the fire cat could tell, this Youko Kurama was the type to have several one night stands, but the longer he spent with her, the more he would grow to love her, just like the rest of them. Once he admitted that he was in love with her, his life would probably turn upside down; no more one night stands for him.

"Swallowed up in the sound of my screaming,
Cannot cease for the fear of silent nights.
Oh, how I long for the deep sleep dreaming.
The goddess of imaginary light.
"In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby,
I lie inside myself for hours,
And watch my purple sky fly over me."

Paper flowers."

Youko closed his eyes, listening to the lingering sound of her voice. He still wanted to seduce, that's why he had tried the aphrodisiac, and probably would again later on, it was his nature, but for some reason, he didn't want this relationship with her to be just a one night stand. He heard Kagome's breathing even out, telling him that she had fallen asleep. Smiling faintly, he pulled her all the way back so her back was pressed against him chest. Shippo yawned cutely and looked up at Youko for a moment.

"Youko?" The silver opened his eyes to look at the kit and to show that he was listening. "You're going to take care of okaa-san from now on, right?" Shippo was a little worried and kept stealing glances at the tree that was Inuyasha's refuge. Youko smiled kindly and nodded.

Shippo took on a bright smile and snuggled between Kagome's stomach and Youko's tail. "Goodnight, 'kaa-san. Goodnight, 'tou-san." The whispered comment caused Youko to jerk slightly and stare at the kit in amazement. He hasn't known me for a day, yet he still calls me 'otou-san…' He smiled down at both the miko and the kit. I guess I've finally gotten myself a family.

Youko looked around the camp, his gaze resting on each member of his new group. A very large family. Shippo: a son. Kagome: a mate. Sango: a sister-in-law. Miroku: a perverted but wise brother-in-law. Kirara: a guardian. And last, and probably least, Inuyasha: a jealous younger brother.

Youko took the essence of the garden he had created and tied it to his own. Now, the garden would continue to survive and flourish as long as he lived; it would last as long as he did. This was common for kitsunes to do if they found the woman they wanted to be their mate. They would take a piece of the element they control, plants for Youko and fire for Shippo, and tie it to their soul.

Once finished, Youko laid his head on Kagome's shoulder before falling asleep, smiling in contentment.

Now, the garden belonged to the one he had chosen as his mate. Until the day he died, this was to be Kagome's Garden.


AN: This is my first YoukoKag, so go easy on me. I love the pairing and wanted to try writing one. If you think I did good, please tell me, and if you think I did bad, please tell me. If you want a sequel, ask; I'll probably write one anyway. REVIEW PLEASE!