Miroku was about to knock on Inuyasha's door when he heard him growl. Seeing as the door was already slightly ajar, Miroku didn't see the harm in listening for a minute.
"I'm gonna need your consent." There was a slight pause, Maybe he's on the phone? "I already told ya why, she wont even talk to me."
A drawer slammed. "I know what you've done for me. But really why is it so important for me to go back? You've got all the legal stuff sorted out, besides you can continue to ignore me just fine here." Inuyasha hissed.
The silver haired boy sighed. "I can't leave. Not until I talk to her." The pause was lengthy this time, Miroku raised his hand to knock when Inuyasha spoke once more. "You're still an asshole… but thank you." Miroku heard the cell phone snap shut and he finally knocked as he opened the door.
Inuyasha held up his hand before Miroku had a chance to speak. "I know you were listening in."
"You misunderstand, my good man. I was simply admiring your door; it really could use a paint job."
A thick, black eyebrow disappeared into silver bangs; Miroku chuckled. "Alright, you caught me. Any chance you'll tell me what that was all about?"
Inuyasha plopped down on his bed, resting his hands behind his head. "It was my brother."
"Is he going to give his consent for you're Work Visa?"
"Yeah but he's not happy about it. He says I need to be home."
Miroku sat by Inuyasha's feet. He nodded sympathetically. "Maybe you should go… "
"You know I can't until I see Kagome; it's only been two weeks."
"It might be awhile…" How long will you wait?
"You think I cheated on her, don't ya?"
Miroku shook his head. "No, I don't think you'd do that. Something is definitely wrong here."
Inuyasha nodded slowly and let out a long sigh. "Now, if only Kagome would realize that."
"She will, we'll find a way to prove it." Miroku took in the few boxes and duffel bag packed against the wall.
"When are you seeing her again?"
"Tonight, me and Sango are taking her to the carnival."
The only possible activity that could have drawn Kagome out of her depression and house was the carnival that came every year. And even though Kagome had been living, breathing, eating misery night and day for the past two weeks, she was going to get herself to go.
Getting out of her house was the difficult part. She had to shower and comb her hair, which she immediately pulled back into a braid, and then she had to put on semi decent clothes… It was turning into quite the ordeal when she had to lean over and tie her tennis shoes. But finally she was as ready as she was going to be for the outside world, and Sango called her to come outside.
The carnival was just as she remembered it from years past. It was loud and smelled distinctly of popcorn and funnel cake. The place was a rainbow of colors and music, and insanely crowded.
Still, the threesome enjoyed themselves as they slowly walked around looking at the exhibits and animals, trying their hand at the positively rigged carnie games, and even rode a few rides. Miroku was buying them popcorn when he heard a low snicker behind him.
"Finally over that cheating boyfriend of yours?" Naraku's voice drifted to him and he turned around to see Kagome cowering into Sango.
Sango wrapped an arm around her. "Back off okay, Naraku? Shouldn't you be back in Japan anyway?"
Naraku's lip curled. "Let's just say I'm not welcome there anymore."
Miroku felt a boiling rage unlike anything he had ever experienced before, as that slimy grease ball crowded in on his fiancee and cousin. Before he even thought it through, Miroku charged.
In a second he slammed Naraku against the side of the ticket both and held him there by the collar. "And why would you say that?"
Naraku, clearly the stronger of the two, must have been so shocked by Miroku's aggressive move because he didn't immediately retaliate.
"You still sticking up for that dog you hosted?"
Miroku shoved Naraku into the wall once more before releasing him. "Yeah, something tells me it wasn't as it appeared."
Naraku's lip curled again and he snickered. "And you think I had something to do with it?"
"Now that you mention it: yes, I do."
Naraku's eyes looked over Miroku's shoulder at Kagome who stood there wide-eyed. He turned back to Miroku. "Prove it."
Miroku stared at him hard but nothing came to his mind. He couldn't prove it because honestly, he hadn't even see Naraku at the party. But something wasn't right and his gut was telling him not let this go.
"If I find out, you had anything to do with what happened; you're going to wish you were back in Japan."
Naraku stepped closer and leaned over. "I don't take well to threats, Houshi." As he stepped away he called over his shoulder, "Kagome, we will have that date."
Miroku turned around and put a hand on his cousin's shoulder. "Forget about that, Kagome. He's just all talk."
But Kagome wasn't looking at her cousin, her attention was focused over his shoulder at the streak of silver and red she just saw flash by.
Kagome sat on her bed after returning from the carnival. Something was nagging at her and she couldn't decide what. Was it the creepy, unsettling way Naraku looked at her or the fact that what Miroku said, gave her hope?
What if somehow things really weren't as they appeared? What if Inuyasha was innocent?
These weren't new thoughts by any means but the fact that Naraku was mixed in and that Miroku seemed to believe Inuyasha's innocence, really upset her previous conviction. Besides, the evidence against Inuyasha was a little harder to argue against, she saw him with her own eyes with Kikyou.
But Inuyasha hadn't doing anything really… Kikyou was the one half naked, not him. Kikyou was the one kissing his neck, Inuyasha didn't even have his hands on her…
But Naraku wasn't even at the party...
Kagome frowned. The whole thing was completely frustrating and maddeningly depressing. She missed Inuyasha and as much as she wanted not to, she still loved him terribly.
For the first time in two weeks, Kagome's room felt oppressive and she suddenly had the urge to get outside again; to walk somewhere. She jumped up, grabbed her coat and practically ran outside.
The sun was just setting as she trotted down the street still deep in reflection. Her thoughts kept circling around Miroku's reaction. I've never seen him so angry… or impulsive. He went one on one up against a full-demon… He wouldn't have done that if he didn't honestly feel what he said…
"Kagome…" Her name was whispered, as soft as the breeze that just ruffled her clothes, in a voice that though quiet, was wholly familiar.
She stiffened but turned around all the same, when she saw him standing there, she immediately felt tears pool in her eyes.
He looked different somehow, even the brilliant red of his shirt couldn't brighten his appearance. His hair was unruly, and his eyes no longer challenged the sun…
"Where you at the carnival today?" She asked, he nodded mutely. "Why?"
"I had to see you and make sure you were okay."
"Did you see Naraku?"
He looked away. "Yeah, I don't take threats well either." He mumbled ominously.
Kagome shivered at the thought of what Inuyasha might have done to Naraku. "He's alive still?"
Inuyasha snorted. "Yeah, even if he doesn't deserve to be." When Kagome didn't say anything more, he added, "I miss you."
Kagome bit her lip and looked down at her sneakers. "You know I can't say it back. I can't pretend I didn't see what I saw."
His dog ears fell flat against his head. "I'll prove it to you Kagome."
"I wish you would."
"I don't know how yet, but I will. I love you." His golden eyes reached hers and Kagome thought she saw something shimmery. Is he crying?
She shook her head and continued walking. When she looked over her shoulder, he was gone. "I love you too, Inuyasha."
When Kagome's feet finally stopped, she was surprised to find where she ended up. She was standing on the porch of a house she hand't been to in four years. Automatically, she raised her hand and rang the doorbell.
A moment later, she was standing face to face with her worse nightmare. "Kikyou."
The blue eyed girl squared her shoulders. "Why did you do it? Why would you do that to me, again?"
Kikyou's steel grey eyes narrowed. "It wasn't me."
"What do you mean, it wasn't you? I saw-"
"I know what you saw."
Kikyou crossed her arms over her chest. "Naraku wanted me to kiss Inuyasha like you saw graduation night but I declined. When I did, he simply created an illusion."
"Naraku? An illusion? I was imagining it?"
"Remember when the lights went out? Naraku did that so he could slip a strong potion into your's and Kouga's drink. It made you hallucinate, he had mine and Inuyasha's scent all over the room so Kouga could find it. But inside there were just puppets, since you were hallucinating you thought you saw something you didn't."
Kagome registered all this with a wildly beating heart. "Why would Naraku do that?"
Kikyou smiled. "Two reasons. 1. He was paid too. 2. He wanted you."
"Paid by who? And what would he want with me?"
The beautiful girl before her laughed. "By Inuyasha's step-father of course. He heard that Inuyasha wasn't coming back and he had to ensure he did. For you see, Inuyasha is to inherit a huge sum in a few short weeks."
Kagome gasped. "His step-father had planned-"
"To eventually kill him, I'm sure."
"And you knew all this? For how long?"
"A few weeks before graduation. Naturally Naraku came to me because of mine and yours' past."
"And you didn't think to tell me when you declined to help him?"
"No, I think I did enough by declining."
Kagome's face grew hot with anger. "You bitch!"
She grabbed a fist full of straight hair and slapped her straight across the face.
The first place Kagome ran to after slapping Kikyou was Miroku's. She had to see Inuyasha and tell him how sorry she was for almost ruining everything. What if he really had gone back to Japan after grad night? He would have been-
She shook her head. He hadn't though, and she shouldn't dwell on things that would make her feel worse, especially not when she had a very important job to do.
Coming to skidding hault outside her cousin's she knocked but when he didn't magically appear after two seconds she tried to knob and it fell open. She ran inside seeing Miroku out of the corner of her eye in his living room.
She dashed down the hallway to the guest bedroom and flung the door open wide. The room was empty, of everything… even the white stuffed dog she had gotten him for Christmas.
"Kagome? What are you doing here?" Miroku asked coming up behind her. "Are you alright?"
She whirled around. "Where is he? He didn't go back to Japan did he?" She tried to keep the building hysteria out of her voice, it was a fruitless attempt. "Tell me!"
Miroku shook his head. "Whoa, its okay Kagome. He didn't leave the country. He moved out today to live in his apartment."
She nodded her understanding and dashed past him.
"Wait! Kagome, whats going on!" Miroku called but she was already gone and slamming the front door shut.
Shit. Keys, I have to go get my car keys first! Kagome was panting wildly by the time she reached her house. She kicked off her shoes and half ran, half jogged up her stairs and into her bedroom.
"Geez!" Kagome grabbed her rapidly beating heart as she was not ready for the unannounced visitor sitting on her bed. If she wasn't exhausted and startled, she would have thrown herself at him.
He stood up quickly but didn't come forward. "I know you don't want to hear it again but I can't stand it to think you hate me. I wouldn't do that to you, Kagome."
She smiled and nodded, her ever present tears returning. "I know."
"I love you. That's why I couldn't leave. That's why I didn't go back to Japan even though my half-brother asked me to."
Kagome deadpanned. "Your half-brother wanted you to go back?"
He nodded. "Turns out Sesshomaru had been working on why my father was murdered and proving his innocence. He found evidence that my step-father might be a suspect and so I was turned over to Sesshomaru's custody. He wanted me to come back and help him tie up the loose ends of the business and rebuild it with him."
She stared at him. "Inuyasha you're step-father paid Naraku to spy on you while you were here."
She nodded and filled him in on everything Kikyou had told her just now. She didn't even skim over her socking that bitch in the face.
Inuyasha sighed and darted forward capturing Kagome in his arms. "So you believe me?"
"Yes, but that's not the important thing, Inuyasha. You're step-father probably wanted you dead."
"I don't care. All I care about is your forgiveness."
Kagome pulled back. "There isn't anything to forgive. You were telling the truth the entire time, I should be asking for forgiveness."
Kagome wrapped her arms around him again, squeezing herself to his body as tightly as her human arms would allow. "I'm so glad you stayed. If you had gone back and he-"
Inuyasha pushed her chin up with a finger. "But I didn't because of you. You saved me, Kagome."
She shook her head and a tear slipped off her cheek. "No, you saved me."
Okay, how was it? Horrible? Just mildly so? I felt I might have laid it on a little too thick there at the end... Yikes, maybe I'll go back and re-edit this one. I hate finishing stories, it's so... weird or something. Like, I'm all happy and confident and then the last chapter I feel like I always choke up on it. Honestly, I'm feeling a little awkward right now! Well, I guess you'll just have to let me know!
Sooo! In response to the overwhelming demand of Kikyou abuse, I hereby dedicate the hair pulling to Say0mi Saki and the bitch slap to Charli2006! Thanks guys! I think it really added something to the story :)
So Naraku didn't use his shape shifting in this story like a lot of you predicted and one of you actually got SUPER close with the drug angle (purduepup)! But I think the illusion thing plays in nicely, kind of? There were a few episodes dedicated to Naraku induced illusions in the TV anime anyway.
Also, something that struck me today as I was procastinating putting this up... No one ever commented on the title of this story! I mean, it's kinda funny right? Get it, Inuyasha was an exchange student and him and Kagome were exchanging feelings... Haha maybe that's something only I can appreciate and it really wasn't as clever as I thought. Damn!
FINALLY, I want to give a HUGE THANKS to all my reviewers :) Seriously, unless you've ever posted anything, you have no idea how wonderful it feels to get feedback. I appreciate the insight, the thoughts, the comments, the loyalty. You guys rock! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And of course, I'd like to thank anyone that ever added me or my story to their favorites! It was very awesome of you!
Gah, I'm so happy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, or any of its amazing characters.