Disclaimer: All characters from Inuyasha are owned by Rumiko Takahashi, but this story belongs to me.

Robes of Blood


He had nothing to offer her. No money, no lands, no precious jewels or metals or silks.

Since his mother's death, Inuyasha had nothing of his own, save his fire rat robe. Robes that had been drenched in sweat and blood as he grew up fighting for his life. They were the only thing he had, a parting gift from his father before death took him. They were the only thing he had of his own that he could offer to Kagome. Those and a worthless title.

And he did. Offer the robes, that is. Often. Any time he could manage it he would drape it over her, protecting her, giving her everything that he had. Imprinting her scent on them, and his scent on her. Marking her as his.

But what could a hanyou give someone like Kagome? She should be living in a large home surrounded by lush land and dressed in colorful kimonos. She should have married one of those nobles who were always asking about her, or one of those males in her own world who tried courting her. Men who could give her things. Men who could give her everything. No, he didn't deserve her. But he'd slay anyone who tried to take her from him.

"She's mine," he growled, though there was no one left alive to hear him.

Shaking off the blood from his claws he quickly gathered up the skin of the fire rat he had slain. The battle wasn't an easy one, and he'd probably still be feeling the burns and scratches tomorrow, but it was worth it. He had his prize.

It was time for a new robe.

Kaede had offered to have someone tan the hide for him when she found out what he was planning, but Inuyasha wanted to do it himself. So he listened as patiently as he could to the tanner's advice, then he set to work on the hide. He wanted to hurry, it was already so late, but he wanted it to be perfect. It had to be soft and supple. The flesh it would protect was far too precious for anything rough.

So he scrapped off the remains of the rat from the hide as best he could, then he put it in the river to soak. It would take a couple of days, they had told him, to get out all of the impurites. So he let it soak. Sometimes he'd sit by the bank and curse at it to get a move on, and other times he would watch the hide in the water and wonder if it had been his mother or his father who had given him the robes, and if they had made it themselves.

Two very long days later he pulled it out and began the long and tedious process of de-hairing it. It was an especially difficult job since the hide could continually attempt to repair itself. Even more difficult was finding the time to do it without anyone finding out. He had to sneak out in the middle of the night to do it. He didn't want anyone asking any questions. It was private. And important.

Once it was clean and hairless, he had to do the hardest thing he could think of... ask for help.

A skilled tanner lent him the tools and coached him on the final steps to turning the rough hide into soft leather. It took a very long time, but he refused to give in to his impatience. The effort was worth it. When he was finished, he was left with a length of the softest yard of what would one day be a fire rat robe. But right now it looked more like a lopsided blanket.

But that was okay, he didn't think she would mind.

His palms were actually sweating as he entered the hut, gift tucked into his own robes. Kagome looked up as he walked into the room. Their room. She was smiling at him.

"Good morning," she whispered in greeting.

He grunted in reply.

Nervously he knelt beside her. With trembling fingers he pulled out his gift. At first she didn't seem to know what to make of the odd looking bundle of red cloth. But when Kagome realized what was in his hands her eyes filled with tears, and love. Love for him. She was his. His mate. His wife.

"Oh, Inuyasha!" She touched it lovingly. "It's beautiful. And so soft!"

His chest threatened to burst with pride. "We can cut it later, make it into whatever you want it to be."

With a full heart, he kissed her gently, still not quite believing that she was his. Really his.

"It's a gift," he said.

Then he picked up the tiny bundle Kagome was cradling, and wrapped the soft leather around her tightly.

Inuyasha didn't have much to offer to Kagome or to his daughter. But he would always give them everything he had.

And he would never give them up.