Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha or any of the anime/manga characters.

Christmas 2006 Gift!fic for inufan625, my wonderful beta! Merry Christmas! I hope you don't mind I took a few liberties with this.

Prompt from inufan625: You could go along with the spirit of the season and have Kagome bring InuYasha a gift, not expecting anything in return, only to have him give her something and things go from there (he would know about Christmas being a time for couples in Japan, because of visiting her era and asking her mother about some of the things he had seen)

Warnings: Divergence, takes place after Manga Chapter 484; Lemons

Christmas for Kagome

InuYasha didn't want to admit it, but he was really getting worried about Kagome. He had been thrilled to see her courage when they had to face the bone youkai to rescue Miroku and Sango. The hanyou thought that, perhaps, his Kagome was back. However, once things had calmed down, and reverted somewhat to normal, she seemed to have fallen back into a state of melancholy.

The hanyou had been in such a funk after Kikyou's death that he had completely missed the pain that Kagome was in. When he had tried to say something to her after the flower demon, when he finally realized that the miko was hurting, too, she had snapped at him and cut him off. It only added to his confusion; and they had never really had a chance to talk. First, he had insisted on trying to bear his pain alone, and then, there were the constant interruptions of the monk, demon slayer, and kitsune. He couldn't have talked to her, even if he had wanted to. He thought she had wanted to talk to him after his transformation against Kanna and her mirror monster, but this time, Sango had to intrude.

He knew she was also worried because they were having little luck at finding either of their two quarries: Naraku, and Kohaku. However, InuYasha had reminded her that he was certain Kohaku was traveling with his brother. They knew that Sesshoumaru wanted to defeat the dark hanyou just as much as his group did; so for now, Kohaku should be safe.

InuYasha sat silently across the campfire from the others. His back was against a tree, though he was anything but relaxed. He had not missed the soft sighs from Kagome as she looked at her book, and the chart she kept up with the days on. The more days passed by, the heavier her sighs became, and the more often she seemed to look at the damnable chart. It was time to take a break and put their search on hold. It was getting cold, they were out of virtually all of their supplies, and Kagome was depressed. Miroku was still weak and could stand a good rest, and Sango needed to repair her Hiraikotsu, if it could be; or perhaps find another weapon. Shippou was the only one who seemed oblivious to everything that was going on.

"Hey, aren't you listening!" the kitsune yelled in his face, snapping his fingers under his nose.

InuYasha whipped his head up and glared. "What?"

Miroku answered him, "InuYasha, we are not that far from the demon slayers' village. Sango would like to go and attempt to repair Hiraikotsu. Also, there are other weapons available there if it cannot be saved. I could rest and try to regain my strength while she works on it. Kirara can take us there, and then bring us back in a few days. What do you think?"

"I think it ain't any further to go home than for you to come back here. We're out of Ramen, so I'll take Kagome home. She can get more supplies before we start searching again," the hanyou responded.

"Is that all you think about!" Shippou practically yelled. "Kagome wants to come with us to help Sango! We don't need your precious Ramen!"

Sango finally spoke, "Kagome is certainly welcome to come with us. At least we would have a roof over our heads for a few nights."

"Aren't any of you going to ask me what I want?" a very soft voice said. Everyone else fell silent as Kagome continued, "I would like to go home. It's been so long, and I know my mother must be worried. I can get more supplies, and some warmer clothes. Maybe I can even be there in time for Christm- never mind. InuYasha, you'll really take me home?"

The hanyou nodded. "Keh, if you want."

"But what about Kohaku?" Sango asked.

"He is with Sesshoumaru, Sango. And right now it looks like he does not wish to be found. I think it would be good to take a short break before we resume looking for them. We have been through much as of late, and we are all weary. We may have better luck once we are rested," Miroku offered.

Kagome's eyes were shining, and InuYasha did not miss that it was with tears she was attempting to hold back. "We'll leave in the morning, all right?"

Kagome nodded, and got up to turn in to her sleeping bag. Shippou came to join her, but she shook her head at him. "Not tonight, Shippou. We'll probably leave before daylight, and you'll still be asleep. Why don't you sleep with Kirara so you can go with Miroku and Sango like you planned?"

The kitsune pouted, but went and curled up with the firecat instead. InuYasha remained sitting against the tree as the others turned in for the night as well.

The hanyou stayed awake most of the night, only lightly dozing a time or two. However, he had not missed the scent of the miko's tears that were carried to him in spite of the still, cold air. InuYasha was glad when he realized that Kagome had finally drifted to sleep, albeit an uneasy one. Determined to get to the bottom of what was bothering her, or at least to take her home so that she could see her family so maybe they could help, InuYasha jumped up into the tree to watch over them all.

o 0 o

InuYasha was holding on tightly to the miko on his back as he raced for the well. He still had not decided if he should try and go back with her, or send her through alone. His human heart had been screaming at him to tell her how he felt ever since Kikyou had finally passed on to the next life, but he had not been able to. It was part of his own personal torment. He had told Kikyou she was the first woman he had ever loved, but he had not said she was the only one. That was because his heart now belonged to the miko on his back, and had for some time. However, he knew he would never be able to tell her. Hanyou and miko were not allowed to love each other. He was certain that Kikyou's death, and his being pinned to the tree for what was supposed to be eternity, were the fates' way of demonstrating that. Surely some horror would befall them both if he ever admitted how he truly felt. If there was only a way to make wishes come true.

Kagome was grateful when they finally reached the well, though she had to admit, the hanyou was much more cooperative than usual. For all of his insistence that he only wanted more Ramen, she would have sworn there was more to it than that. She had even tested him a couple of times, just to see what he would do. However, every time she asked to stop so she could pee, or to grab some berries or to dig one of the few remaining energy bars out of the backpack, he did so without complaint. If she hadn't known better, she would have thought he was either worried or depressed. She was thinking about inviting him to come home with her, though she really didn't have a good reason. He didn't know about Christmas, and wouldn't know what to do. The whole thing might only embarrass him. And besides, what was the chance he'd want to spend Christmas Eve with her? If nothing else, maybe he would do it and make Souta happy. He was the kid's hero, and the hanyou really didn't seem to mind him.

Kagome was still pondering what to do when they finally passed by the village. There seemed to be a festival of some kind going on. She looked up at the full moon filling the sky and brightly lighting the landscape around them. "It must be the winter solstice. They have a celebration?"

"Yeah, Kaede is probably helping to run it. Did you want to see her before you go back?" InuYasha commented as he set her on her feet.

"Do you want to check out the festival? It looks like fun," Kagome responded.

InuYasha shook his head and looked at the ground. "I've never been welcome at human gatherings. I'll pass. Besides, I thought you wanted to go home."

"You're right, I do." Kagome took a deep breath. It was nearly Christmas, after all. "Do you want to come with me? Mama and Souta would love to see you. It seems like it has been so long since we were there."

"You think she'd have some Ramen?" InuYasha inquired. He couldn't dare let her know that his heart had skipped a few beats when she asked.

"She keeps a shelf full, just for you," the miko responded. "Does that mean you're coming?"

"Keh. There's nothing to do here."

o 0 o

"Mama, we're home," Kagome called as they entered the house.

"Honey, I'm so happy to see you," Mama said, as she came from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "And I see you brought InuYasha with you. I'm glad to see you, too, dear." She gave each of them a hug.

"Keh," InuYasha responded with a blush.

"Well, come on. You're just in time for dinner. I have your favorite," Mama said.

"Oden!" "Ramen?" Kagome and InuYasha said at the same time.

Mama laughed. "Oden, but it does have noodles, InuYasha. If you really want Ramen, I can make you some."

"Oden is good," the hanyou responded quietly, as he followed Mama and Kagome to the kitchen.

"Where are Jii-chan and Souta?" Kagome asked, when she saw that her brother and grandfather were not there. "We're eating without them?"

Mama placed a bowl in front of each of them as they sat down at the kitchen table. "Your grandfather took Souta to a festival celebrating the Winter Solstice. Something about some legend associated with it that he wanted Souta to learn. That was one reason I fixed Oden for tonight. It'll keep until they come back home."

They ate mostly in silence, except for the slurping of the large noodles from the bowl. Kagome finished her bowl and said softly, "May I be excused?"

Mama answered, "You look like you could use a nice bath. Why don't you go on upstairs?"

Kagome nodded and stood. She took her bowl and placed it in the sink before she went upstairs without a word. InuYasha's eyes followed her the entire time, not missing the sadness that surrounded her. He thought coming home would cheer her up, but now he wasn't so sure. His ears drooped as he watched the miko silently leave the kitchen.

"InuYasha, will you come with me?" Mama asked, and led him to their living room.

InuYasha stopped in the doorway - there was a tree in the corner of the room decorated with numerous ornaments and twinkling lights. "What the fu-" he cut himself off. "A tree?"

"It's part of Christmas, InuYasha. Come and sit down, and I'll try to explain," Mama offered.

"Keh," the hanyou said softly as he dropped down beside her.

"First, will you tell me what's going on? I don't think you brought Kagome home just for supplies."

InuYasha shook his head and blushed, but didn't respond immediately. Mama waited patiently. Finally, InuYasha said, "She's been so sad. I didn't know what to do. I thought bringing her home would help." The hanyou didn't know how to, or really want to, go into the details of everything that they had been through recently.

"Part of it is probably the time of year, and I'm glad you brought her home. I hope you won't try to make her go back before Christmas Day," Mama said, before she launched into an explanation of the things they did Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then she added, "You know, Christmas Eve is very important to girls Kagome's age. They desire to spend the evening with someone important to them."

InuYasha's ears plastered to his head as he stared at the floor. "Oh. She wants to see that Hobo guy, doesn't she? That's why she wanted to be here."

Mama took his chin in her hand and gently pulled his head up so she could look InuYasha in the eye. "Do you really think she would have brought you with her, if that was what she wanted?"

"Keh?"

"Every girl wants to share Christmas Eve with the one they love, the one they hope loves them. They exchange gifts, have dinner at a romantic restaurant, and maybe spend the night together. And they say that if you confess your true feelings Christmas Eve, your wish to be together always, will be granted. Well, that's the legend, anyway."

"Really?" InuYasha's ears perked up just a bit, but then drooped again. "But I don't know nothing about any of that - and what kind of gift would I need for her? And where would I get it?"

"I'll tell you what, InuYasha. I will take you shopping tomorrow. Kagome will probably go to school to see her friends and see what's going on in her classes, so we'll go while she's there. We have a couple of days, so if we don't find anything tomorrow, we'll try again the next day, all right? I'll take care of the other arrangements, too, if you trust me," Mama told him. "I think we might be able to find something that might help cheer her up."

InuYasha just nodded. He didn't know what else to do.

Kagome went to her room, and closed the door behind her. She walked over to her dresser, opened the drawer, and took out a small box. She sighed as she sat on the edge of her bed, closing her eyes, before she finally took the top off.

The miko stared at the pendant in the box. She had found it in a small shop after school one day, when she had been home between trips to the past. She wasn't even sure if it was made of silver or some other metal, she just knew that she would probably never see another one quite like it, and so she purchased it. Fortunately, the owner of the store did not know what the Kanji stood for, or what the metal was, and so it was fairly inexpensive. A small smile graced Kagome's face as she recalled the conversation with the owner. He said that it could just as easily mean, "Fuck you' as I love you'," and he had no history on it. So, he would make her a good deal. He even threw in the chain and the box. Kagome came back with the money, and then went home with the pendant. It had been sitting in the drawer of her dresser ever since.

Kagome knew what the shop owner did not. Thanks to her time in the feudal era, she knew that the Kanji on the pendant was in an old style and meant simply "Love". She did not know if InuYasha would be able read it or not. It might be a great risk to give it to him, and then again, it might not mean anything at all. Still not certain what to do, she put the lid back on the box, and then placed it back in its drawer. She still had a couple of days, if she were still here, that is. However, InuYasha had not seemed in a great rush to go back, and it would be several days at the earliest before the others returned to the village. Gathering up her pajamas, she finally headed down the hall to the bathroom for a nice, hot soak.

Souta was thrilled to discover that InuYasha was there when he returned home from the festival. He took the hanyou's hand and dragged him up the stairs. Souta talked him into taking a bath with him, after promising he wouldn't make the water so hot this time. InuYasha reluctantly agreed since Kagome had retired to her room, and had not come out. Not having any better idea of what he should do, he went with the young boy.

"So, are you going to ask my sister out for Christmas Eve?" Souta asked as they sat in the warm water. "I'm sure she wants you to, you know."

InuYasha didn't reply, so Souta continued, "And you'll need to get her a gift. Something romantic that shows your feelings for her. You do like her, don't you?"

The hanyou still didn't respond verbally, but his body started to flush red from his toes up; and it had nothing to do with the warm water.

"I thought so. Just be nice to her, okay?"

"Keh."

InuYasha was supposed to sleep in Souta's room; after all, the hanyou had agreed to since he had practically begged him. However, after the boy fell asleep, he slipped out and went to Kagome's room. He deeply inhaled her presence that filled the area, and then settled back against the wall. He dozed off, but woke to the pungent odor of her tears. He moved to the side of her bed and kneeled down, peering at her face. More tears leaked from her closed eyes, and he barely heard, "InuYasha, why can't you love me?" His heart almost jumped through his throat, as he closed his eyes and caught his breath. He wanted desperately to kiss her, but instead, he silently got up and returned to Souta's room.

Just as Mama predicted, Kagome came down in her school uniform the next morning. While she did say, "good morning," to everyone, she said little else. She glanced at InuYasha a few times, but then put her dishes in the sink, and headed off to school the same time as Souta.

After the coast was clear, and Mama had put away the breakfast dishes, she turned to InuYasha who had been amazingly patient while waiting. "InuYasha, I hope you don't mind, but you probably should change clothes before we go out."

"Keh?" InuYasha wasn't used to wearing anything but his firerat and hakama.

"Come on, I have something that should work for you," Mama said.

Mama presented InuYasha with a pair of sweats and a pullover sweatshirt. She was kind of wishing Souta was still here to help him get dressed, and she wasn't so sure about asking Jii-chan. She hoped her explanation of how to put them on was good enough when he disappeared into Souta's room with them. Mama also hoped that he really would leave Tessaiga with his firerat and hakama. He had been reluctant, but finally agreed that he could feel no threatening youkai in this era.

The hanyou emerged with everything on correctly, and Mama looked at his feet. "I'm sorry, InuYasha, but you're going to have to wear shoes of some kind. I found some sandals that might work, though."

"Keh," InuYasha said softly and followed her to the entryway where they kept their shoes. Once the sandals were on his feet, and he said he could tolerate them, Mama put a hat on his head and they headed out the door.

Mama took InuYasha to a quiet side street with various shops in hope that it wouldn't overwhelm the hanyou. She had been able to convince him that he would need appropriate clothing for his romantic date with her daughter, and first looked for something that would work.

Deciding a shirt and tie might be more than he could handle, the salesman helped her find a black suit that wasn't too expensive along with a red and black sweater that would look nice with it. The salesman came out and whispered to Mama that InuYasha really needed underwear of some kind, since he was wearing none. Mama actually blushed at that since she hadn't thought about it, and told him to take InuYasha some boxers to wear.

They managed to find everything they needed in the shop, including socks and shoes that the hanyou could tolerate. Mama paid for them, and arranged for delivery to the shrine, and they left the shop to continue down the street. They were walking slowly, glancing into windows as they passed them by, when InuYasha came to a stop. He just stared at the item that was displayed there. It was simple, it was pretty, and it conveyed what he wanted it to.

"InuYasha?" Mama questioned quietly. She could see something had his attention, but she wasn't sure what. She hoped it wasn't one of the very expensive diamond rings in the window, since she was not prepared for that kind of purchase - at least not today.

"What about that?" InuYasha answered, equally as soft. He was pointing at one of the items, but she couldn't tell for sure which.

"Do you want to go in and get a better look at it?" Mama asked him, relieved he was pointing at a display of jewelry that was pretty, but probably not too expensive. The hanyou only nodded, so they went inside.

"May I help you?" the sales clerk asked when they entered the store.

"Yes, we'd like to see… which one is it?" Mama responded.

InuYasha pointed to the piece that he wanted for Kagome, and Mama smiled. "Do you want this for her?" she asked the hanyou, and he responded by nodding as his cheeks flamed up.

"Good taste, and very reasonable, too," the clerk told them. "Would you like it gift-wrapped?"

Mama looked at the blushing hanyou and nodded. "Yes, please. And we'll take it with us."

Kagome returned home from school, seeming even more down than before. Apparently her friends had done nothing to cheer her up, and she was hopelessly behind on her schoolwork. She did look a bit surprised to see InuYasha wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. She was only used to seeing him in his traditional clothing.

"Kagome, honey, it couldn't be that bad," her mother said as she tried to cheer her up.

"They all wanted to know what I was doing Christmas Eve. At least they didn't try to force me to go out with Hojo. Apparently he's going out with someone in his class," Kagome replied unevenly.

"Well, I've already placed our order for Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was even able to convince InuYasha he would probably like it, so he's willing to stay. We'll have plenty. Just tell your friends that you have plans," Mama said with a wink in InuYasha's direction.

The hanyou blushed.

The next day passed much the same, and then it was Christmas Eve. Kagome seemed to spend a great deal of the day in the bath, mulling things over, when she heard her mother knock on the door. "Kagome, you're going to be a prune if you stay in there any longer. I have something I want you to try when you go back to your room."

"All right, Mama," Kagome said. Souta had hinted that InuYasha wanted to spend the evening with her, but she really didn't believe it. He was happy with the never-ending supply of Ramen he had while he was here. She was certain that was why he had not insisted that they return yet.

She returned to her room to find a beautiful dress lying on her bed. It was silver, and shimmered all over, which would bring out her stormy gray eyes. "What?" she asked out loud.

Kagome jumped when Mama spoke from behind her. "Well, try it on. Let me see what it looks like."

The miko held the dress up. It was strapless with a fitted bodice, and then a tea-length skirt that billowed out. The gown resembled liquid silver in motion. "But where…"

"Just try it on for me, please?" Mama told her.

She reluctantly put in on, and turned to look at herself in the mirror. She had to admit, it was beautiful.

"Good, that'll do for tonight," her mother said.

"Huh?"

"Why don't you finish getting ready? We're going out." Well, that wasn't a total lie. Kagome was going out with InuYasha, even if she didn't know it yet.

"What happened to your chicken order?" Kagome asked.

"They called and said they didn't have enough. They had to cut it in half, so it'll be enough for your grandfather and brother. I don't get to see you that much anymore, so I decided we're going out. Now, go ahead and do something with your hair and your makeup. I'll be downstairs when you're ready," Mama responded.

Mama left Kagome's room and went to Souta's room, where he was busy helping InuYasha get dressed. Mama had to admit, he was stunning in the black suit with the red and black sweater. Souta had helped him tie his hair back with a leather thong, and the black bandana hiding his ears was barely noticeable.

"Are you ready?" she asked the nervous hanyou.

"Keh."

"You have the gift?"

InuYasha nodded in response.

"Let's go down and wait for Kagome then, shall we?" Mama suggested.

InuYasha waited nervously at the bottom of the stairs. He had to admit, he was not prepared for the sight that met his eyes when Kagome stepped to the top of the staircase. She was beautiful, and looked like an angel. She stopped and stared at him, seeing the hanyou for the first time in his suit. Her heart jumped into her throat at the sight of him. Then she looked at her mother, who was not dressed like they were, at all.

Mama smiled when she saw Kagome's eyes land on her. "Well, three's a crowd, you know."

"InuYasha, you want to spend Christmas Eve with me?" the miko asked with a bit of disbelief.

"Keh," he responded.

"But Mama…" Kagome started.

"Don't worry, I've made all of the arrangements. Everything has already been paid for. I've put an overnight bag for each of you in the car. I think it is high time you two had some time alone together, even if all you do is finally talk with one another. I'll drop you off, and I'll come and pick you up at checkout time tomorrow, unless you call and want me to pick you up sooner. Now, let's go," Mama ordered, with no room for discussion.

InuYasha was bright red by this time, but he still couldn't take his eyes off of Kagome. Finally, he whispered so that she barely heard him, "You're beautiful."

The corners of Kagome's mouth turned up just a little. "You mean it?"

"Yeah," he replied. "I hope you don't mind the surprise."

The miko shook her head. "I don't mind."

Mama made sure they were checked into their room, gave them the key after sending the bellman up with their bags, and then kissed Kagome goodbye at the entrance to the hotel restaurant. "Don't waste this opportunity," she whispered. "Remember, it's Christmas Eve, and miracles can happen."

It turned out chicken was the offering of choice on the menu for Christmas Eve. So, while InuYasha and Kagome may not have enjoyed KFC as the rest of her family was, they would still have chicken. At least the menu did give you the option of fried or roasted teriyaki chicken. Other than that, it was a set menu for the evening of standard dishes including a small Christmas cake, which explained how her mother had been able to pre-pay for everything, including their dinner.

"Thank you, InuYasha," Kagome said as they waited for their food. Their hostess had placed them at a small table, but where they were seated side by side, rather than across from each other. Shyly, she took his hand a squeezed it.

"Keh," InuYasha responded as a pink stain crossed his cheeks, though for once, he didn't look away. Nor did he remove his hand. Instead, he gently squeezed hers in return. "Why didn't you say anything?"

Kagome looked down at the table. "I didn't think you would understand. I didn't think you would want to come with me. What did Mama tell you- never mind, I don't think I want to know."

"Keh." InuYasha breathed a sigh in relief. He wasn't really certain what to say.

About that time their waiter arrived with their food. Kagome wasn't positive that InuYasha would like the fried chicken, since some places added curry to the batter, so they had ordered one plate of each. They had each started on their food, when she noticed that InuYasha was eyeing her fried chicken, even though he had devoured most of his roasted chicken.

"Do you want to try it?" she asked.

The hanyou just nodded. The scent of the deep fried chicken had his nose working overtime. He watched as the miko used her delicate, slender fingers to pull off a strip of meat. He was surprised when she held it up towards his lips, and didn't miss that she was blushing as she did so. He leaned forward and gently took the chicken from her fingers, and watched her as he chewed. He savored the richness of the flavor. It was different than his roasted chicken, but very good.

"Thanks," InuYasha said after he had swallowed. "It's good."

"You're welcome," Kagome said, her gray eyes still locked onto his golden ones. Then, they each turned red and looked away.

InuYasha was trying to decide when he was supposed to give Kagome her gift. He wasn't expecting anything in return since this had been a surprise for her. He also wasn't sure what he was supposed to do later when they went to their room. Mama had explained that they would have a private room with a bath, and that no one would interrupt them. She suggested that even though it was difficult, to try and talk with her daughter since it was clear, even to her, that something was on his mind. Mama also told the hanyou that she trusted him, and to use his instincts and his heart to let him know what to do. InuYasha gulped as he thought about what he'd like to do, if Kagome didn't sit him to Hell just for thinking it, much less saying it. Then he remembered his initial fear: what if something horrible happened because he finally admitted how he felt? Should he tell Kagome why he was afraid? Or should he hope for the Christmas Eve miracle that Mama said could happen, and his wish to be with her could come true? He sighed as he poked at the remainder of his dinner.

Kagome was nervously rubbing her purse that was next to her on the small bench. She had dropped the small box into it before she left her bedroom, thinking that maybe she could give it to the hanyou when her mother went to the ladies' room or something during their dinner. She didn't expect to be here like this, alone with him. She certainly didn't expect to have a hotel room in which to spend the night with him. What if nothing became of it? What if all they did was stare at each other, InuYasha blushed and keh'd' a few times, and that was it? Then she remembered her mother's words. She wouldn't waste this opportunity. She would find a way to make it work. With Kikyou finally, truly, gone, it was no longer inappropriate for her to let the hanyou know how she felt about him. She didn't know how he felt about her, and almost regretted cutting him off like she did after they had encountered the flower demon. At the time, though, she just wasn't ready to deal with anything serious like that.

They were each jolted from their thoughts when the waiter reappeared. "Would you like for me to serve the Christmas cake to you now?" he asked.

InuYasha looked at Kagome, and she nodded in response. The waiter neatly sliced the small cake in half, and then gave them each a plate.

When they had finished their dessert, and had no reason left to stay at the table, Kagome finally said, "We should go up and see our room. If you want to, I mean."

InuYasha nodded in return, and pink crossed his cheeks again. He was afraid the miko was going to think he was getting ill if he kept turning red like he had been. Not certain what to do, he slid out from the table and stood, and nervously crossed his arms in front of him while he waited for Kagome to join him.

The miko picked up her purse and tucked it under her arm as she got up. She timidly reached for InuYasha's hand, and said, "Okay, let's go."

Kagome pulled the card key out of her purse when she reached the room with their number. InuYasha had been quiet, but he didn't seem unhappy to be with her. If anything, he seemed to be almost as nervous about this whole thing as she was. The lock on the door clicked and the light flashed green, and Kagome opened the door. She just stood there and stared. What was Mama thinking?

"Something wrong?" InuYasha asked apprehensively. He was standing behind her and wasn't really looking into the room.

Kagome shook her head and stepped through the doorway. InuYasha followed behind her and closed the door. Their bags were on the bureau that was next to the wall, and there was a chair that looked comfortable as well as a small table. What Kagome's eyes were still locked on was the very large king-sized bed.

"What is it, Kagome?" InuYasha asked again, totally oblivious to the surroundings.

The miko shook her head. "It…it's nothing." She had taken her shoes off as she entered the room. With a sigh, she went and sat on the edge of the bed. "InuYasha, what did Mama tell you to get you to do this?"

InuYasha sat down near her, after removing his shoes as well as the bandana and thong from his hair, but he didn't answer.

"InuYasha, did you want to come with me, really? Or did she talk you into it."

"I wanted to," she barely heard him say.

Before she lost her nerve, she opened her purse and pulled out the small box. "I got this for you. Merry Christmas. It's okay, I know you don't have anything for me."

Before he took it, the hanyou stood and pulled the small box out of his pocket. Sitting back down, he was blushing madly as he handed it to her. "Here," he said, as he took the present she had for him.

"InuYasha, I wasn't… how did you know? Did Mama…"

"Souta… he told me. Your mother helped, though."

"Mama seems to have helped a lot tonight," Kagome said with a giggle.

InuYasha smiled just a little. It was the happiest he had heard her in quite some time.

"You first," they said together, and then laughed.

"How about at the same time?" Kagome suggested, and InuYasha nodded.

Kagome pulled the delicate bow that had been squashed a little to untie it and remove it from the box. She had to smile at InuYasha being practical, and just slicing the ribbon off of the box she had given him with his claw.

The miko took a deep breath once she had her box unwrapped. "Ready?" she said, almost afraid of what he would think when he saw her gift. Would he understand it, or would she have to explain it? And if she had to explain it, could she tell the truth?

InuYasha nodded, and they each pulled the top off the small box in their hand, and just stared.

"Ka… Ka…Kagome…" InuYasha whispered as he looked at the pendant.

Kagome looked away, not yet seeing the contents of her box. "You don't like it, do you? It's okay, I can take it back."

"No," InuYasha said firmly.

"Do you know what it says?" she asked, almost fearfully.

"Love," he replied.

"InuYasha," she whispered.

"Look at yours," he suggested.

Kagome finally looked at the contents of her box, wiping her eyes to clear her vision. "InuYasha, it… it's… do you mean it?"

The hanyou just nodded. In Kagome's box was a pendant not so different from the one she had just given him. Except that it was polished silver, with the Kanji engraved and then washed in black to stand out. It very clearly stated, in the Kanji of her time, "Infinite Love."

"InuYasha," she whispered again, as she took the necklace and placed it around her neck.

The hanyou wasn't certain how to work the clasp on his, and didn't want to break the chain, so he handed it to Kagome. "Will you?" he asked. "I don't want to ruin it."

Kagome nodded and unhooked the clasp before reaching to fasten it behind his neck. "There," she said as she secured it, and found herself very close to the hanyou. InuYasha looked into her eyes for only a moment before he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him.

The kiss started out gentle and tender, both unsure of themselves, though not of their love for each other. Kagome cupped InuYasha's face in her hands, and found herself parting her lips, encouraging him to join her. It became more heated, the longer they stayed together; and their tongues twisted around each other, before beginning to explore the other's mouth.

InuYasha had started out with both arms wrapped around her, but as their kiss deepened, one hand found its way to her breast and gently massaged it through the fabric of her dress. When they finally had to come up for air, he realized what he was doing and broke away.

"I'm sorry," he whispered as he looked away.

"I'm not," Kagome answered, gently turning his face back towards her. "You have no idea how long I've waited… wanted… for you to do that."

"Even…" the hanyou started.

The miko felt like she flushed all over as she nodded. InuYasha responded by pulling her back to him to kiss her again.

This time she let her hands begin to explore, first by working her way up under his coat, and then by snaking her hands up under his sweater to feel his warm flesh. She was starting to tingle all over as his mouth left hers, and trailed along her jaw line from where he made his way to her ear, and then suckled on her earlobe. Kagome responded by pulling one hand out from under his sweater and reaching up to find an ear. Taking it gently between her thumb and fingers, she started to rub in what she hoped was a soothing manner.

It must have worked, because InuYasha turned loose of her ear, and rested his forehead against her shoulder as she continued to massage the furry appendage. She was amazed at how soft it was, and continued to stroke the ear in a gentle rhythm.

She soon became aware of his hot breath on her chest above the line of her dress. She smiled as she realized the position that her hanyou was in, and wondered if he could see her cleavage, or if he had his eyes closed. She heard the fabric of her dress rustle as his hand found its way to her breast again, and he began to caress it in tempo with her.

Kagome could feel her nipple become tight and hard under his ministrations, and realized she needed more contact with him. Taking a deep breath, not really wanting to ruin the moment, she said, "Mama will kill me if I ruin this dress."

InuYasha immediately pulled away from her. "I'm sorry."

The miko leaned over to kiss him gently. "It's okay. I can take care of it. Why don't you at least take your coat off so you'll be more comfortable?"

Kagome got up and went to the small closet, resolved with what she was going to do. She might never have an opportunity like this again, and she was just starting to realize how shy her hanyou really was. She hoped this would not send him running from the room. Carefully, she reached behind her to unzip the dress, and let it fall to her feet. She stepped out of it and then hung it up before she pulled off the silver, glittery stockings her mother had purchased to go with it. She didn't own a strapless bra, so she was left standing in her panties. She turned around to find InuYasha with his coat, apparently with the intent of letting her hang it up until he saw her so scantily clad before him. Wide-eyed, he dropped the coat to the floor, and just stared at the miko. While he remained frozen in place, Kagome decided to act quickly and grabbed the bottom of his sweater on either side, and pulled it upwards, to tug it over his head. She was running her hands over his bare chest when his lips crashed down on hers.

This time, she could feel the animal passion that was buried deep inside of him. His hands seemed to be all over, though gentle, yet trying to feel every part of her that was within his reach. A moan escaped her as one hand landed on her breast, this time with nothing to hide it from his touch. Suddenly, she felt her feet leave the ground as he scooped her up in front of him, and carried her back to the bed.

The miko sighed as she felt his hot mouth land on her breast. It didn't take her very long to realize that he was reacting to her. She would moan, groan, or sigh louder when he did something that felt particularly good, and he was apparently following his instincts.

InuYasha couldn't believe it. He had taken his coat off and followed Kagome, not having any idea she was taking her dress off. When she turned around, standing only in the delicate undergarment, his eyes went wide and his mouth dry. The suit coat he was holding just fell from his hand. He felt like he was frozen in place. The hanyou thought she was angry with him, but instead, she was only hanging her dress up so they wouldn't accidentally ruin it. He did not expect for her to reach down and tug his sweater up over his head, leaving him in his pants with just the rosary and the pendant she had given him against his chest. When he felt her hands roaming over his bare upper body, he snapped out of his daze, and eagerly assaulted her mouth again.

This time, he was less hesitant. Thanks to his hearing, he was able to pick up the little sounds that she made, and was starting to understand them. He allowed his hands to roam over her upper torso, looking for what areas were most sensitive and what seemed to please her most. There was no doubt in his mind that she enjoyed his attentions to her breast as she moaned loudly into his mouth, so he picked her up and carried her over to the bed, and lay her before him.

Curious, since they seemed so sensitive, he pulled one breast into his mouth. The nipple that already seemed rather firm under his fingers became even harder as he rolled it under his tongue. Kagome moaned louder, and it was probably unconsciously that she thrust her breast harder into him; so, he continued licking and kissing it, as his hand rubbed the other one. He then decided that the breast under his hand needed more attention, and he leaned over to pull it into his mouth to begin giving it the same attentions, and was not disappointed in her reactions.

Kagome was practically writhing on the bed as he suckled, licked, and kissed her breasts. She was tingling all over, and was getting extremely heated in her lower regions. She knew that her panties must be soaked by now. Hoping to pull his attentions in that direction, she spread her legs, bending her knees, though she had the leg that faced InuYasha flat against the bed while the other was just up and to the side. She reached down and found his ear again, and began to rub.

The scent of Kagome had filled the room, but InuYasha was suddenly almost overwhelmed when her arousal assaulted him. He had not been sure of his boundaries, and had stayed above her navel for fear of upsetting her. Yet now he realized, as he turned his head, she was opening herself up to him. Cautious, he reached between her legs and stroked softly with his middle digit. He was afraid he had gone too far when her hand left his ear, but then realized it was so that she could pull the undergarment from her hips. She moaned loudly and thrust herself into his hand when his finger slipped between the hot and wet folds of flesh. Unable to resist any more, he pulled her sideways on the bed and went to his knees. Placing his nose against her dark curls, he took a deep breath and then reached out with his tongue, barely flicking at the hot slit to gage her reaction.

"Gods, yes!" Kagome exclaimed when she felt his tongue reach out for her. She needed more and reached down to pry herself apart for him. Taking that as a sign to continue, the hanyou dug in.

The reaction was rather immediate when InuYasha reached out to taste her with his tongue. The scent was incredible, but her taste was unlike anything he had ever experienced. When her fingers found their way to pull the folds of flesh apart for him to give him easier access, he took that as a sign to continue, and thrust his tongue up into her. She responded by placing her feet on his shoulders and lifting her butt to thrust herself into his face. He moved his hands to cup her buttocks, and hold her to his mouth.

The hanyou thrust his tongue as deeply into her as he could reach, and then curled it to lick the upper wall on the way back out. He followed by taking a long lick from just below her slit up to a little nub that seemed to be getting quite hard at his attentions. She moaned loudly again when he landed on it, so he gave it a test thump with his tongue. "More," he heard when he did that, so he changed his attentions to the little piece of flesh and her clit. He brought up his right hand, and carefully inserted a finger into her, also earning her gasps and moans of approval. He suckled at her clit like he had at her breasts, alternating his attentions to that of her hardened pearl, while he now had two digits up in her. The hanyou would have been afraid he was hurting her if it hadn't been for her sudden cries of, "Don't stop… Gods, don't stop!"

InuYasha found his fingers met by a rush of hot juices as the miko's body suddenly started to buck against him. Wanting to drink everything that came from her, he removed his digits and thrust his tongue back into her, and then lapped at her as she continued to writhe against his mouth. Finally, she turned loose of the bed covering she had clutched at when she started to come, and reached up to take an ear in each hand. He didn't stop his gentle licking of her until he felt a tug, and he looked up.

"InuYasha," she said softly. "I've never felt anything like that. Thank you."

She sat up and pulled his face up to hers. She supposed that some would be disgusted to kiss someone after what he had just done for her, but it only made her more excited. As their tongues tangled together again, she reached down and fumbled with his trousers, unbuttoning them, and then unzipping them. Her hand slipped beneath the waistband of his boxers, and gripped the very firm flesh they concealed.

"Fuck, Kagome…" the hanyou whispered as her small fingers wrapped around him and pulled. "You don't have to."

"I want to. InuYasha," Kagome said as she took the pendant she had given him between the fingers of her other hand, and rubbed it. "This says what I haven't been able to. I do love you," she whispered.

InuYasha kissed her gently on the lips. "I… I… I…"

"I know," she said, as she turned loose of his pendant to hold her own. "It's funny how something so small can say so much."

The hanyou's cheeks pinked as he felt both of her hands now tug at his pants and boxers. Kagome had gone to her knees as she pulled them down to his ankles, and looked up to find his excited flesh before her. She allowed him to step out of his pants before she hesitantly reached out, and then took him between her fingers again. She noticed the droplets leaking from the little slit at the end, and curiously, wondering what he would taste like, reached out with her tongue. Even her human ears picked up his gasp as her warm slick muscle met his heated flesh, and she responded by rolling her tongue around the soft head before she pulled it into her mouth.

InuYasha felt frozen to the spot, but couldn't help but gasp as he felt her tongue tip meet his tip. As much as she seemed to enjoy the pleasure he had given her, he had not really expected anything in return. He was holding on to himself with everything he had to keep from driving his erection deeper into her mouth. Gods, it felt so good when he felt her moist heat surround his head. If her mouth felt like this, what would… but he shook his head to drive that thought from it. He had so far been given a gift he had never expected, and didn't want to ruin it. Instead, he gently wrapped his fingers in her black tresses, and rubbed her head.

Kagome decided she was doing okay when she felt his fingers against the back of her head, almost petting her like she had rubbed his ears. Getting braver, she pulled more into her mouth and wrapped one hand firmly around him. She took her other hand and cupped his balls, and rolled them carefully in her fingers, afraid of hurting him. Without realizing it, she found herself in rhythm with the hanyou, as he pushed in and then pulled out of her mouth.

Wondering what might happen, Kagome suddenly reversed the direction her hand was going. She realized that their speed had picked up, and she gripped him tighter and sucked harder, hoping to bring him to climax as he had done for her. His thrusts became faster and almost frantic, and suddenly their motion stopped and she felt something hot hit the back of her throat. The miko could feel him pulsing under her hand and tongue as she swallowed everything he gave to her. As she had done for him, he rubbed her head as he continued to empty himself into her, and then gently reached down to pull her to her feet when he was finished. She did not miss how bright his eyes were as she looked up into his, before his lips found hers again.

"Thank you," InuYasha said softly when they pulled apart this time. Kagome responded by smiling at him before turning to the bed behind them, and pulling down the covers.

"Come on," she responded as she took his hand, and then climbed into the massive bed.

They lay facing each other, fingers laced together. Kagome's free hand reached up to stroke an ear. "I thought you didn't like people messing with them," she said with a smile.

"You can," he answered, as his free hand found her breast and started to rub his thumb across it.

"You know, they say if you confess your true feelings to one another on Christmas Eve, your wish will be granted," the miko started.

"Keh. That's what your mother said," InuYasha responded so softly that she could barely hear him.

The hanyou found his face cupped in both of Kagome's hands as she looked into his eyes. He heard her take a deep breath before she said, "InuYasha, I've loved you for so long. I want to be with you always." He did not miss that her eyes were tearing up again; they sparkled as brightly as her dress did.

Somehow knowing that, "Me, too," wasn't going to do to make his wish come true, InuYasha also took a deep breath as he moved his hands to cup her face. "I… I… I… I lo…love you, too. I… I… I wish… I wish I could spend the rest of my life with you."

"InuYasha!" Kagome exclaimed softly, letting her tears go.

"I… I'm sorry," he said as he wiped them away.

Kagome smiled at him. "I'm happy, silly," and reached forward to kiss him.

This time there was nothing to hold them back. They rolled around on the bed, kissing and letting their hands roam freely over the other's body. When Kagome felt that he was hard under her grip again, she rolled over on her back, and gave him a gentle tug.

"Kagome?" he questioned as he felt her trying to pull him over her body.

"I… I want to know. I want to know what it feels like for you to be inside of me," she said.

"Kagome… Kagome… I… I've never…"

"It's okay, I've never, either," Kagome whispered, though secretly, her heart was jumping with joy. They would each be the other's first. It also meant that he'd never, well, not with, he'd never… she let that thought trail away.

"Ka… Ka… Kagome… I'm afraid," he told her.

"Afraid? Of what, InuYasha?" she could tell he was genuinely worried about something.

"That you will die…"

"Oh, InuYasha," she said as she rubbed his cheek with one hand. "You won't let anything happen to me, I have faith in you."

"But-"

"No buts. I love you, and you love me. I have faith that you will protect me just as you always have, and I'll do my best for you."

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"I'm sure," she answered.

"Kagome, there is a way… there is a way for us to be together always, if you really want to," the hanyou said softly.

"What is it, InuYasha? What do you mean?"

"If you were my mate, we would be bound together for life. If your miko aura accepted my youki, that is. You would have to allow yourself to be bound to me. It would mean that your aging would adapt to mine, so you won't age as quickly as normal humans do. But it also means if I were killed-"

Kagome cut him off. "Don't go there. You aren't going to die any time soon, and neither will I. Do you really want me to be your mate?"

He nodded.

"It's like getting married?"

"It's much more than human marriage."

"Then make my wish come true," she whispered as she started to stroke him again, bringing his erection back to life. "What do I do?"

"I think you'll know," he said. "Follow your instincts."

Kagome was surprised when she looked back at his face and realized that his demon markings were becoming visible. The hanyou dove between her legs again, and lapped at her until she was dripping with her desire for him. She looked down and watched the top of his head and realized that she could feel her body calling out to his. She wasn't surprised when he looked up, and his eyes were glazed over red in lust and his cheeks now blazed with his markings.

She had hoped to see his face her first time, but realized with his youkai helping him, he would probably want to do this in a way that was natural for him. She wasn't surprised when she felt him gently roll her over, and pull her to her knees. Kagome thrust her bottom towards him as she spread her legs a little further apart to give him easier access. She grabbed one of the pillows from the bed, and rolled it up under her, holding it as she wished she were holding him.

InuYasha was almost afraid, at first, as he felt his youki clamoring to surface. However, after his recent experience with the mirror youkai when Tessaiga lost its power, he realized it was trying to help. He could actually feel the miko's aura reaching out and calling to him as he licked between her hot folds to make sure she would be ready to receive him. When her juices were flowing freely, he turned her over and pulled her up. The hanyou knew she was more than willing when she pushed her rounded bottom towards him, and spread her knees.

He hovered over her back, running one hand up and down her spine, making her shudder, as the other prepared to guide himself in. The hanyou's eyes bled completely red as his head entered her hot slit, and he started to push into her. He heard her moan as he stretched her, but stopped when he reached her maiden barrier. He was surprised when she suddenly pushed herself back at him so that he was buried to the hilt within her.

As Kagome felt him start to slide into her, she was suddenly glad they were in this position. Not only did it feel good, but also, she realized that she was more open to him this way. The feelings that were running through her as he slowly entered her were incredible, and she was disappointed when he stopped until she realized what the problem was. She could feel him bumping, and stretching, the thin membrane that declared her virginity. Deciding it would probably be best to do it quickly, she thrust backwards, and impaled herself upon his length. She sighed as she felt him fill her body, feeling very full and very, very, good.

The miko enjoyed the feeling of him within her, but then realized he was probably waiting for some sign from her that he could continue. She pulled forward just a little and then bumped back against him, encouraging him to start thrusting into her.

InuYasha felt her bounce back against him, and realized that she was ready for him to start. He pulled out, and then pushed back in again, and established a slow, even rhythm.

"Fuck, Kagome… so tight… so hot…" he panted as he started to pick up speed.

"Harder…" he heard her say, though her voice was muffled by the pillow her face was pressed into.

He complied and started thrusting into her even harder, continuing to pick up speed. He could feel his own body starting to coil up, as well as that of the miko underneath him. He reached around between her legs and found her pearl, and applied pressure to it as he continued to pound against her. The only sounds were of his grunts, her moans, and their flesh slapping together.

Kagome could feel her body preparing for a massive orgasm as the hanyou hit somewhere deep inside of her. Her entire essence already felt like it was on fire before he reached around and started to rub her hardened nub. Suddenly, she cried out in pleasure as her body clamped down on him, and he roared as he came into her. She felt him lay across her back as his heat filled her from within. The miko allowed her body to collapse into the softness of the bed, bringing her lover with her.

InuYasha howled when he felt the Kagome's body clamp down on his own, and exploded to fill her. When they came together, his youki reached out to bind with her aura that had enveloped him as he thrust into her. The two auras wrapped and twisted together as they became joined for eternity. Neither of them noticed the extra flash of silver or the shower of shooting stars that filled the night sky, just before midnight and the start of Christmas Day.

The hanyou lay over her back, and felt her start to collapse into the bed beneath them. Not willing to give up his place inside of her yet, he covered her and growled contentedly, making the two bodies vibrate together. He wrapped his arms up under her, and together, they fell asleep.

Kagome woke first, just after dawn, and looked at the sleeping hanyou next to her. He awakened upon feeling her stir, and opened his eyes to see her stormy gray ones, and a smile on her face.

"Merry Christmas, InuYasha," she said, reaching for him and discovering he was already hard.

"Keh," he said, before he admitted, "I wake up that way a lot, around you."

Kagome reached forward to kiss him and rolled on her back. "I want to see your face this time; please, for me?"

The hanyou blushed all the way to his toes when he realized what she was asking. He worked his way over her body, and she raised her legs while she reached down to help guide him in. Once his head was in place, she wrapped her legs so her feet dragged across his buttocks, and her hands rubbed his back as he started. He leaned over to kiss her as he started to thrust into her, though with her encouragement he started to pound harder and faster. He felt her nails dig in as her body started to wind up under him, and then clamped down as her channel started to flutter and her body spasmed out of her control. That was all he needed to find his release, and let loose of the fire that had built within him. He continued to thrust against her, while he finished emptying into her, for as long as their two bodies reacted together.

The hanyou looked down to realize her eyes were open again, and she was smiling at him. "Thank you. You're beautiful, you know," she said to him.

He helped her adjust her legs so that they were flat on the bed again, and then lay over her; though he put his weight on his forearms so he wouldn't squash her into the bed. "You're the one who's beautiful. I've always wanted to tell you." And with that, he kissed her again.

The room had a nice bath with a hot tub, and Kagome was able to convince the hanyou to join her - as long as she didn't make the water too hot. He couldn't help but to make a comment that he didn't understand how she hadn't managed to cook her own body.

Reluctantly testing the water, he agreed that it was acceptable, and climbed in with her. The miko reddened when she realized he was staring at her chest.

He reached towards her with a puzzled look, and picked up the pendant that was still hanging from her neck. "I… I… I don't understand."

Confused, Kagome took the pendant from his hand and pulled it up where she could see it. It looked just the same as before. "What is it, InuYasha?"

Without saying a word, he flipped it over where she could see the other side. Now, it was identical to the pendant that he was wearing. Kagome gasped, and leaned forward to look at the piece that she had given to him the night before. The one side was just as it always had been, but when she rolled it over, the engraving was identical to the one he had given her. Each pendant now had, "Love" in the Kanji from his era on one side, and, "Infinite Love," in the Kanji from her period on the other.

"The legend, it must be true," Kagome whispered as InuYasha pulled her to him, and then just held her in the warm water.

o 0 o

As promised, Mama was there to pick them up at checkout time. The couple was dressed casually in the clothes she had packed for them, and InuYasha had his black bandana covering his ears again. She thought they looked much more relaxed than when she had dropped them off. She really hoped that they had been able to work everything out.

"Did you two have a good time?" Mama asked jovially.

She could see them nodding in response in the rear view mirror.

"So, do you think your wish came true?" she asked slyly.

"Keh." "Yeah." They replied together; and even in the mirror, she could see them both blushing furiously as they looked at one another.

Mama just smiled and drove them home.

"Merry Christmas, Kagome."

ooo0ooo

AN: It's amazing what a little research into traditions in another country can turn up. While looking for some background information for this piece, several interesting facts were discovered:

Christmas Day is not a national holiday, and the main celebration revolves around Christmas Eve, instead. And there are a number of traditions. One is that of the Christmas cake, which apparently is quite a concoction and very difficult to make, and therefore is bought from a confectioner. Another is, thanks to the marketing brilliance of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a chicken dinner. In Japan, "Christmas Chicken" is the meat of choice for this occasion rather than ham or turkey (which is very difficult to get), as it is in the United States. KFC is very popular, and apparently people place their orders well in advance to be able to get their dinner that day. Roast teriyaki chicken has also become popular. Christmas trees and lights have become more and more widespread, though the trees are always artificial since there are no Christmas tree farms in Japan.

The traditions that this fic centered around were more of the amorous ones. It is very important for young ladies to have someone to spend Christmas Eve with. They hope for a romantic dinner, hopefully followed by a night in a nice hotel. Small gifts are exchanged, including items like teddy bears, flowers, scarves, and jewelry. Christmas Eve in Japan has been promoted as the time for romantic miracles. There is a legend that if you confess your true feelings to each other that night, your wish will come true.