1.Beginning and End

The first time Inuyasha met Kagome was in eighth grade.

She had been a year younger than him, but twice as smart. He had no problem with it, as she wasn't a know-it-all, and in fact he had been assigned to the quiet, sweet girl for tutoring after his own grades had begun to slip. She had a way of explaining things that made everything easier for him and he was grateful for her encouragement and seemingly endless patience.

He had been ashamed when it occurred to him to realize that she had no friends in school….or anywhere else for that matter. She had just moved to his town, after her mother had been transferred into another division in a laboratory. It had meant a larger salary…and longer hours. Kagome's little brother, Souta, had remained with their father to attend a school for gifted children. Their parents had divorced a few years before, and the hanyou was certain that the situation had contributed to Kagome's quieter nature.

So, Inuyasha brought her into his group of friends, determined to bring her out of her shell.

At first, she had been hesitant, not wanting to impose herself of folks who didn't know her.

But he had insisted. And she had fit in as if they had known her all of their lives.

She was the one they went to for advice. Of if they just needed someone to listen to their troubles.

Miroku said that she had an old soul, one that had seen a great many things both fair and foul over more years than he would care to count. He was especially close to the girl over the years, taking the place of her brother who eventually decided to remain with their father on a permanent basis. Naraku had also filled that role, strangely protective of the little girl from the moment he'd been introduced to her. The Kumohanyou had never really taken a serious interest in anything before Kagome's entrance into their lives, and it had been something of a shock to Inuyasha when the other male had later been given detention for punching out a fellow student…who had stolen Kagome's math books. Naraku had been unrepentant as he had smirked the entire way to the principal's office. Kagome had stood there, wide-eyed, unsure as to what she should do next.

Inuyasha had had a grand ol' time relaying the story to the others. Sango had been tickled pink for the addition of another girl to their group, and had demanded an introduction the very next day. Miroku had deduced that if Kagome could bring out the protective instincts in a male who was thought to have none at all, than she must be worth knowing.

Shippo had been neutral…for all of about ten seconds after meeting her.

He adored the girl. She was descended from priests and miko, though she held nothing but respect for most youkai. She giggled with him when he pulled his pranks on her…and he made certain that they were never damaging. She encouraged him when he was picked on, Kitsune being physically slower to develop and so oftimes were overlooked as children. Kagome never forgot to treat him as an equal.

Kagura was about the only one who could draw out Kagome's hidden snark, and did so with glee. The two could be seen trading playful quips as Naraku did his impression of a hyena, laughing as the two ripped at each other, only to turn on him and have him howling even harder.

But for all of that, Inuyasha was also quite careless.

On occasion, he'd become selfish and demanding. Or forgetful.

The first time it happened…it had had lasting consequences.


It was just weeks after Kagome's thirteenth birthday, and he had decided to host a sleepover for their entire division. Almost a hundred children had swarmed through his monstrosity of a home. Kikyo, who had finally come home from abroad, had claimed his attention from the first and he had allowed it. The beautiful, possessive, girl had monopolized him before drawing in the others.

They hadn't even remembered her, after a few hours, and so Kagome had found a quiet corner in the TV room as dozens of couples lay about the room in varying stages of cuddling.

She had felt lonely amongst so many strangers, not being the type to chit-chat with those she did not really know.

It had been as the movie was just reaching its climax that she had felt someone take a seat next to her on the sofa. She looked up, only to stare in amazement.

He had looked a great deal like her handsome hanyou friend. But…better.

Where Inuyasha's hair was white and somewhat coarse, this male's shown like liquid silver in the flickers from the wide screen television. His face was serene, showing the promise of beauty with maturity, though he was already unnervingly handsome. He had smiled at her as he leaned down to murmur to her over the movie. "You don't mind sharing with me, do you?"

His voice was shiver inducing and hit down low in a way to make her even more aware of his appeal…even at thirteen.

She's blinked, before dumbly shaking her head. No, she didn't mind.

He'd thanked her, before turning back towards the screen, and Kagome had spent the next few hours covertly studying him when the opportunity presented itself.

He was a few years older than she was and she couldn't help but feel intimidated by him. He was already over six feet tall and well-muscled. She imagined that he must have to beat away the female species with a stick…or his rather deadly looking claws.

He reached up, then, and raked long fingers through his mane, exposing the fey ears typical of full-blooded youkai.

She had desperately wanted to touch them…

He'd been bare of markings, then at seventeen, not yet having acquired the right to wear them until he reached his twentieth birthday where they would be tattooed onto his body. His skin was warm and tawny in the soft light and she'd almost sat on her hands to keep from making a bigger fool out of herself and reaching out to touch him.

She didn't see the way his full mouth quirked as he noticed her interest. Nor the way his molten eyes gleamed as he decided to allow it without comment to save her from embarrassment.

She had been very young, even more than her age implied. Though never naïve. And he had known it.

She was a cute little thing, he decided. Though far too young at that time for him to even think of her as anything more than a companion. She needed someone to keep an eye on her who would not be biased by previous relationships. She could not be left to flounder, because he could already see the promise of power in her, and would need someone to hold her to her true self.

He had seen all of this in her…even then.

Something onscreen had chosen that exact moment roar and a cause a huge commotion. She had squeaked and jumped, clambering gracelessly into his lap and she'd found herself pressed up against the strange male before she could even register what she'd done, then blushed madly at the contact as his arms curled about her to hold her in place when she'd begun to remove herself.

"You'll have to pardon me," he'd chuckled softly. "I do better with physical contact during scary movies."

His teasing was light and harmless, and Kagome had smiled at the self-mockery, even if it was so clearly untrue. She'd relaxed against him, then, and it was not long before the heat of his body lulled her to sleep, despite the high volume of the film.

He'd sat there with the girl, and felt strangely contented for having succeeded in his inexplicable need to see her smile.

He'd actually felt anger at the hanyou for abandoning her as he had, and it had surprised him, because he was unused to giving a rat's ass for anything other than his own needs and desires. His need to succeed in life and his desire to prove his worth to his father were the only things deemed worthy of his attention. He'd seen them all, every one of her so-called friends, laughing and chatting away in the other room, and he'd found himself wondering where the smallest of them had wandered off to. He'd become used to hearing stories about the little female and he'd come to know her through Inuyasha's words, though he'd yet to meet her face to face. It hadn't taken him all that long, after that, to track her down, the scent of her that he'd picked up from the hanyou leading him into the crowded room that still failed to give her the longed for companionship.

He had been uncommonly careful as he ran his clawed fingers through short, baby-fine locks of dark hair, exploring the texture as he gave in to the urge.

If asked that morning, he would have never dreamed that this is where his day would end.

He'd smiled, tucking the dark crown of her head under his chin as he turned his eyes towards the television screen, tuning out the rest of the viewers and allowing himself to zone into the movie.


That had been the end of Kagome's anonymity during her junior-high school career. Envy had run through the student body, for both parties, when word of the night's happening had spread throughout the teen population of those who had missed it, the next morning.

When Sango had suddenly remembered their missing friend, she had demanded that they search for her and make their apologies. After all, it was the height of rudeness to invite someone somewhere, only to forget about them. She had gathered the main body of the pack, Inuyasha and Kikyo refusing to budge from their 'together time'.

Her voice…and everyone else's…had frozen in their throats at the sight that had greeted them upon throwing on the lights in the movie room.

It seemed that Kagome had Inuyasha's older brother in her company.

Sesshomaru was full youkai and even more callous than his name would imply. She knew him to be capable of acts that anything claiming a heart would have retched to contemplate. But he now served as a bed for the little female; his much larger frame spread full length atop the sofa with Kagome sprawled comfortably over his chest, both hands fisted in the long silvery mane he'd never allowed to be touched by anyone save himself.

The last being who had dared an attempt was currently nursing the painful regrowth of a hand.

The room had abruptly cleared itself of the others, both humans and youkai alike, as they took in the extraordinary sight, leaving two humans, two youkai, and a hanyou to deal with the 'odd couple'.

But she thought her heart might actually stop when she took a step forward to wake the pair. It has been said that an unconscious gesture will more closely mirror a being's truer nature, even more so of a youkai's beast. The Inu male's reflexive action was automatic and brutally clear. His lip had curled in a lethal baring of fangs, before his face had lowered into the curve of Kagome's shoulder, a low growl reaching their ears that was all the more disturbing for its quiet intensity. Muscle had rippled in coiled agitation through his shoulders and biceps under snug black knit, a warning to the intruders: the beast that lived just under the surface was both awake and aware…and highly displeased with their proximity.

Sango had hurriedly backed away, and by unspoken consent, all agreed to never speak of what they had just seen. Kagome did not need that kind of attention, either from those who might misunderstand the true extent of the Inu's actions due to the common failure of keeping a story strait as it became embellished by rumor…or the Inuhanyou, Inuyasha, who would blow a fuse followed by a microchip or two, before letting his mouth make accusations that would ruin their friendship…though the situation was pushing it, regardless.

Almost as if acting on instinct, the sleeping Kagome had reached up and pulled him closer to her throat as if to display her submission. The intuitive act seemed to calm the Inu, and he relaxed under her with a soft purr before the pair fell silent once more.

Unfortunately, the list of those not informed also included the Western Lord…


Inuyasha couldn't move as he took in the sight of his brother and his best friend. His eyes were wide, his mouth gaping in something close to horror.

It was the annual party just after Kagome's twentieth birthday. The party was already in full swing by eleven p.m., the DJ jamming to the beat behind the mixers, the crowd on the floor displaying a lack of inhibition induced by good music and even better liquor. Bodies swayed in rhythms that suggested many would find themselves writhing in intoxicated abandon with their partners atop the closest bed in the not so distant future.

We're a death-marching band

Peter Pan off the wagon

Entertain but never trust anyone sober.

We're tasteless but taste good

My(s)top hat's top hated

Unsafe cheerleaders with

Porn poms and pipe bombs

Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?

Kagome has.

It was a refrain that echoed about the hanyou's head, one that he could not silence no matter how he tried. Just as he could not shut out the sight of them, darkness and light entwined in lustful harmony.

It wasn't right that they looked so perfect, together.

Physically, they could not have been more diverse. The Inu was aggressively male, tall and powerfully muscled. Silver and golden by turns, though his eyes gave away the truth of his darkness, belying his angelic appearance. His smile was wickedness incarnate as his inhuman eyes danced possessively over his partner, who glowed against him like the very personification of purity. The female was small and pale, with a river of dark hair flowing to her hips as they rocked teasingly against the male to the heavy, industrial beat. Her eyes glowed brilliantly blue in the moonlight, and, though she was warm and kind, it was easy to see that she knew she belonged to the devil at her back. And reveled in the ownership.

The male bent to nip at her bared throat as he lazily spun her, before tugging her against his chest. Sweetly bare limbs tangled with leather and velvet as she danced with Sesshomaru in a way that Inuyasha was almost certain should have been illegal.

He didn't know how he could have missed it…the way they touched each other, that knowledge of each other's bodies that was only to be found in long-time lovers.

He once remembered her asking him to dance with her at a school dance, but he had demurred, certain that she was unable to dance the way he liked especially when she had taken up belly dancing at fourteen. Even if he could have managed to dance with her and not feel terribly awkward, as if he were molesting some virginal librarian.

Now, his excuses had turned to ash in his mouth.

Her languid sensuality had found its match in effortless animal grace as the male slid up into the downward roll of her hips, a rounded thigh curling up over a leather clad hip as she dipped backwards into a tight arc over Sesshomaru's forearm, and but for their clothing he would have been inside of her. A change in the beat…a deeper sway of their bodies, and now it looked like nothing more than a provocatively elegant pantomime of a vertical fuck.

Hell, he hadn't even known that his brother could dance, let alone in public.

He felt the tips of his claws bite into his palms as he resisted the urge to tear into the male who had laid claim to the little female he had always privately considered his own. Maybe not in a romantic sense in the past, but she was his all the same.

And it was then that Inuyasha realized that he'd never had her at all, because Sesshomaru belonged to the girl, just as much as Kagome belonged to the beast.

Nothing in this world is for real

Except you are for me and

I am so yours


a.n. – well, I was going to wait until I had finished Idiot's to post this, but it was calling, and I'm in a bit of a rut with Mirror, so I'll try this one for a while…