Disclaimer: I do not own anything.

A/N: Wow! The feedback for last chapter was phenomenal! Thank you to everyone that reviewed/alerted/favorited this story! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Could it possibly be because I asked such a gasping question? Well, I'd just like to thank everyone because it seems that the consensus is that InuYasha would not hurt his own child in youkai form.

Also, there's been some confusion on whether he is still wearing the beads or not. He is, he just ordered Kagome not to use them unless the situation was dire. The beads are still on.

Last Chapter:

She believes my youkai would kill any baby we had?

He had known that at some time he would have to face this. Kagome might not want to admit it, but she was afraid of his youkai half. She didn't care that he was a hanyou; she'd admitted she liked him best as a half-breed. But when his demon blood took control, she was terrified. A few times, he hadn't cared who came near him, not even when it was Kagome. He'd just felt a need to kill.

But would he even kill their pup?

0…0…0

Chapter Five – Fading Doubts

Things can only get better for soulmates.

0…0…0

A few hours and a lot of pacing later, InuYasha came to the conclusion that he and Kagome really needed to talk. Without the interference of their companions. For the few hours since Kagome had told Sango of her dream, the demon slayer had been sticking close to her, constantly asking if she was all right.

The kitsune had been, too. Whenever InuYasha so much as looked at Kagome, he would bare his tiny fangs and climb protectively into her lap, watching the hanyou ferociously.

Damnit, I've got to get her the fuck away from these guys!

Miroku, at least, seemed to be too intrigued by his thoughts to do anything. He just sat, staring into the fire, occasionally mumbling incoherently to himself.

Finally, InuYasha couldn't take the pained look on Kagome's face anymore. Ignoring the others' glares and confusion that struck him, he rose to his feet and strode over to her, gently picking her up and leaping into the trees before anyone could stop him. He heard the kitsune's childish shouts ringing into the forest and Sango rising to her feet, but didn't stop. The faster he moved, the faster he and Kagome could get all of her fears--and his idiocy--out into the open.

Her hands immediately clutched around his neck, even as she squeaked, "InuYasha, put me down!" In response, he moved faster, causing her to clutch herself closer to him. "I mean it! Put. Me. Down!"

"No," he said simply, continuing on to where he had smelt the creek ahead.

For a moment, she stared at him in shock, but the look quickly turned into a furious scowl, one to rival his own. "It wasn't a question, InuYasha!"

"I know."

That took the wind out of her sails. Luckily, InuYasha skidded to a swift stop a few seconds later, so she didn't really need to worry about it. Suddenly, she found herself dropped onto the ground, flat on her butt, with an aggravated hanyou kneeling in front of her, glowering.

"Now you're gonna tell me what has you so fucking worried all the time," he ordered, giving her a fierce look.

She felt something compelling her to tell him and knew that he was using the stupid obedience spell on her. A rush of anger swept through her at his underhanded tactics, but she couldn't stop the words from coming out between her clenched teeth. "It doesn't help that you put a spell on me, you know!" She paused, hoping he would interrupt and stop her from continuing on to the real reason.

Her prayers were answered.

"Only because you always have to go back to that weird world of yours! What if something happened to you over there?! How would I protect you then, hn?!"

"Nothing will happen to me over there! I don't even need you to protect me; my family watches out for me! Besides, you know you can go over there with me, you just never let me go!"

There was a long silence and she quite honestly believed that he would leave it at that when his head ducked down. She started to stand, but long fingers curling around her wrist stopped her easily. Once she was looking down at him, his hand tightened on her. "It's not their job to watch out for you, Kagome," he growled lowly, his amber eyes boring into hers.

She swallowed at the odd gleam in his eyes. It was as if he wanted to add more onto his statement but wouldn't. Shaking it off, Kagome shouted, "They're my family! That's what they do!" She yanked at her arm, knowing he wouldn't let go. "Let me go! I'm going back to the others!"

"No," he said sternly, tugging on her arm until she stumbled back, falling to the ground just in front of him. She let out a yelp, flailing wildly as she fell, trying to catch herself. He did so for her, making sure she didn't hit the ground hard. When she caught her breath, she twisted around to glare at him savagely, opening her mouth to say something. "Shut up," he ordered furiously, watching in satisfaction as her mouth abruptly slammed closed. "You're gonna listen to me, Kagome, until I've had my say."

Her eyes narrowed dangerously, but she didn't turn away. Good. That would make this that much easier.

"I know you're scared for whatever reason"--he wasn't prepared to tell her that technically he had been spying on her--"but you've gotta stop this shit! I'm sick of you looking at me like I'm gonna eat you or something!"

He stopped for a moment, trying to hold back the whine of agony about to rip through him. Bad idea to have anything even remotely sexual come out of his mouth. At that moment, his hormones were running rampant over him. Damn it, he should have just waited until she'd agreed before putting any kind of fucking claim on her!

He opened his mouth to say more when an odor smacked him in the nose. A growl rippled through him. Why the fuck was that wolf coming back, damnit?!

"Kagome!"

She jumped a little at the sound of her name, the familiar voice just as Kouga made it to them, skidding to a halt. InuYasha forced his body to stay on the ground with Kagome wrapped in his arms, fighting the need to beat the wolf's head in.

"Kagome, I came to--what the hell did you do to her, Muttface?!" he shouted, his hands reaching to pry the young priestess from InuYasha's arms, only to get slashed at for his attempt. "Damnit, you marked my goddamn mate!"

Everything froze for a long moment before Kagome turned to look up at him, a lethal glare on her face.

"InuYasha, what did you do?"

0…0…0

"Do you think we should have followed them?" Sango asked from the opposite side of the campfire, nervously playing with the tie on her Hiraikotsu. "What if they run into a demon? We should follow." She rose, ready to do just that when the monk's voice reached her.

"I'm sure InuYasha and Kagome can handle any demon that may be lurking out there. Besides, I think they need the time to work out whatever is going on. I suggest you just let them be." He rose, going to his wife's side. "I think you need to rest, Sango. There's no reason for you to exhaust yourself or the baby."

She twiddled once more with the Hiraikotsu before sitting down. "Fine. But if they aren't back soon, I'm going to go looking for them either way."

Shippo abruptly stood. "Kouga's nearby."

Miroku and Sango both tensed, the pregnant slayer getting to her feet swiftly. It was still too clear in their minds what had happened the last time he had shown up; they couldn't afford for InuYasha to get angry again. Besides, Kagome wouldn't forgive him if he did anything to Kouga that was permanent.

"Shippo, you and Sango will stay here. Kirara and I will make sure nothing happens," Miroku said, already moving into the trees with a swiftly transforming Kirara in tow. "Do not leave the camp, Sango!"

She huffed irritably at his commands. What a jerk. How dare he think that he could just order her around like that! He thought that since he was her husband, he could order her around? Yeah, right. If she wanted to go after them, she would. Besides, what would he do? Yell at her? Whatever. That didn't bother her in the least.

Rising, she was surprised when Shippo transformed into a large ball, blocking her path. Her eyebrow raised in question.

"Miroku doesn't want you to leave the campsite."

That was a pretty boring answer.

"Shippo, he can't just tell me I can't go somewhere. If I think my friends are in danger, I'll go to them if I want." Going to move around him, she was once again cut off. "Shippo…."

"I won't go against his orders, Sango. Sorry."

Seeing that he wasn't going to budge on the subject, she sat back down. Why do males always have to stick together?

0…0…0

"Let go of me, InuYasha!" Kagome screamed, squirming free of the half-demon's arms. "I…I can't believe you…why do you keep doing this?!"

She hoped the smell of her tears drove him crazy. He deserved it. Why did he have to keep doing these things? First an obedience spell, now "marking" her; when would he finally ask her permission?

"Kagome, I can expla--"

His reply was cut off by Kouga's fist as it slammed into his mouth, nearly knocking him backward.

"How dare you mark my mate?! You can't just…damnit!" He gave the hanyou a furious kick into his midsection, doubling him over for a moment. The wolf was surprised when he didn't fight back, merely wandered around him, towards where Kagome was no doubt standing.

When she saw that InuYasha planned to follow her rather than battle his "rival", she whispered, "InuYasha, please just leave me alone." She continued away from him quickly, hoping that for once he would just listen to her. Why was he so hell-bent to do everything without asking her? What did he even have to gain from it?

A flash of brown and Kouga was standing in front of her, his hands reaching for her shoulders.

She backed away slightly, not wanting anyone to stop her from going on alone.

Her back hit InuYasha's chest, his arms going around her waist. She gasped and began struggling, which caused Kouga to start growling.

"She doesn't want you to hold her, Dog-Turd! Let 'er go!" His clawed hands reached to tug her out of his hold, his glare intensifying. "You shouldn't have marked her, and she knows it!"

"Shut up, wolf," InuYasha said, taking a step backward, bringing Kagome with him. "If you'll leave us alone, I won't rip those legs off your body." The words should have frightened the wolf, said lowly in a darkly calm tone. But it didn't seem to faze him enough for InuYasha's liking. "Get. The. Fuck. Out of here!" he roared, making Kagome jump. His arm instantly tightened on her as he prepared to shove her behind his back.

Kouga's eyes widened for a moment before narrowing, clawed hands flexing furiously at his sides, rising as he prepared to leap.

His legs tensed, pushing him off the ground towards the pair.

InuYasha thrust Kagome away and pulled Tessaiga out of its sheath, all in one smooth move.

Tessaiga wasn't held out defensively, the young priestess noticed with sudden horror. He couldn't actually mean to kill Kouga this time!

With that thought, she rushed back to stand between them, seeing that the prince hadn't decided that anything was out of the ordinary. So she did the only thing that came through in her frazzled mind.

"InuYasha, sit!"

Disbelieving that the word--after his command not to use it--had actually come out of her mouth, Kagome watched as he flew to the ground, Kouga landing with a heavy downward strike at where InuYasha's neck would have been. She shuddered at the thought of how close both of them had been to killing the other before stiffening her spine. They had both been willing to kill each other! Over something so--well, the fact that InuYasha had "marked"--memo to self: demand an answer from InuYasha for that--her wasn't exactly small. But whatever.

"Thanks, Kagome," Kouga said, flashing her a toothy smile. "It'll be that much easier killing the bastard for marking you." His hand rose, ready to swipe at the downed InuYasha, when Kagome stepped in to protect him. The wolf rolled his eyes. "C'mon, Kagome; I'm getting really sick of you always protecting this mangy mutt. There's no point to do it anymore; the last shard disappeared with Naraku. Your promise to Dog-Turd is fulfilled."

"I promised forever."

She had no idea where the words came from, or why she chose to say them. They just sort of…came.

Time seemed to stop as a tense silence filled the area. The moment was destroyed, however, when InuYasha rose to his feet, striding towards her with a large grin on his face. Kouga, his blue eyes disbelieving and hurt, just stood where he had landed, obviously unable to speak. His mouth opened and closed, the sound of his teeth clicking together the only thing coming from him.

"Kagome," InuYasha said, standing before her.

She swallowed quickly, trying to come up with a reason behind her words, grasping at straws not completely there. When the hanyou leaned closer, she forgot that Kouga—hurt and distraught—was only a few feet away from them. "I-InuYasha, w-what are you…what are you doing?"

The smile should have told her he had read into her statement. It should have warned her that the old InuYasha was no longer coming to the surface. She should have realized that he was going to change.

She hadn't even seen it coming.

0…0…0

Miroku and Kirara had watched the whole scene unfold. From beginning to end. Though the monk was astonished by Kagome's bluntness, he knew that he would have to intervene before InuYasha did anything; with Kouga upset, anything could happen at this point.

"Kagome!" he shouted a few seconds before bursting into their small enclosure. "Sango sent me looking for you; she is quite worried. Would you mind terribly if we got going?" His question was directed towards the still motionless wolf standing maybe ten feet from the pair.

Kagome leapt away from InuYasha immediately, a bright flush on her face. Moving swiftly to Kirara's side, she began swinging herself onto the cat's back, only to be grabbed and thrust onto InuYasha's instead. He grinned over his shoulder at her and took off into the trees at break-neck speed, playfully frightening the young priestess every chance he got.

An awkward silence fell over the three left behind. Of course, it had been bad enough when InuYasha and Kagome had been there; for them to leave when Miroku knew very little of the wolf-youkai before him, everything got a little…uncomfortable.

Not knowing what to say, the monk and nekomata left, leaving the heartbroken wolf in their wake.

They had barely made it into the forest when a pained howl filled the night, making Miroku cringe in empathy for the poor sap.

0…0…0

Neither Kagome nor InuYasha spoke of the scene for the next few days. But that didn't stop the arrogant hanyou from acting upon it.

Instead of his usually ornery attitude towards walking rather than using the faster members of the group as transportation, he ordered that they simply walk the rest of the way to the village. Of course, it hadn't taken a genius to realize why he wanted to walk when his fingers entwined with Kagome's.

Even when they approached the village, his hold on her did not cease. He kept a darker look on his face, however, as the villagers glared at them, obviously not happy at the show of affection between the hanyou and priestess. They backed down quickly, however, when one corner of his mouth quirked up in a smirking snarl that showed his fang.

At first, Kagome had been wary of his sudden change in attitude. She'd stiffened every time his hand went towards her, but after a short while, she seemed to become more content, leaning into his side slightly as they walked beside each other.

The scene made the houshi and taijiya following behind grin to one another, knowing that this was the breakthrough they had been waiting for. Kagome and InuYasha were openly showing their feelings when they knew several people were watching. They had thought it would take much longer.

The youkai who had claimed to have the last shard of the jewel was nothing more than a big talker; InuYasha dealt with him easily, disposing of the remains nonchalantly.

Though they obviously did not like the idea, the villagers invited them to spend the night in their largest home, giving them only one room, of course.

Just as the sun began to drift below the horizon, Miroku and Sango curled up on the far side of the room on the larger futon, Kirara and Shippo curled near one end. InuYasha and Kagome sat near the other, smaller mat, an obvious show of disrespect. The hanyou had growled and been ready to attack those who had so blatantly criticized them, but Kagome stopped him by sighing softly and laying her head on his shoulder.

Now they sat, just like that, just watching the candles flickering inside the darkening room. Kagome yawned widely, her eyes nearly closed in exhaustion. "I must be tired more than I thought I was."

InuYasha nodded stiffly, rising to his feet before sticking his hand out to pull her up. She blinked at it for a moment before allowing him to bring her to her feet. Walking the few feet to the spot where she would sleep, she plopped down, stretching before trying to get comfortable.

"Here," he said, taking off his haori to drape over her body. "It'll keep you warm."

"What about you? You'll be freezing," she pointed out even as she curled into the material.

"I'll be fine." A small smile quirked his lips as he settled against the wall nearest her head. Crossing his arms over his chest, Tessaiga tucked against one limb, he subtly scented the air, sensing that the other were nearing sleep. Good. A couple hours of comfort wouldn't be horrible, would it?

He waited impatiently for the others to fall into their dreams, furiously trying to stop the tapping of his fingers against his arms. Weren't humans supposed to fall asleep quickly? Their bodies were so easily fatigued, they should have been completely done in for the night.

After what seemed like hours, Kirara, the last of them to go to bed, was asleep and InuYasha had his opening.

Knowing that she was already asleep herself, InuYasha moved behind Kagome, pulling his haori over him as well—okay, so he was a little cold—curling her into the curve of his body possessively.

He thought back to the progress they'd made. From frightened to affection in only two days was quite a feat.

He still blushed slightly whenever they walked close together and the others began whispering, or Kagome entwined her fingers with his. But that no longer stopped him. He had tried not to use anything that could be considered a command around her, hoping that a little more of her trust in him would return.

Unfortunately, he had. But it had only been once.

Flashback

It was early morning. No one but Kagome seemed to be willing to get up, not even InuYasha. They had moped and complained for several minutes before Miroku and Sango had begun leading the way, Shippo and Kirara in tow.

The hanyou, however, had stubbornly stayed on the ground, yawning theatrically. "Kagome, don't you think I deserve a little rest? The village is maybe an hour away; we don't even need to get going, yet."

Though shocked at his blasé attitude, Kagome had placed her hands on her hips, scolding, "We do. I need to go home to get more supplies, and the faster we get this over with, the sooner I can go there." When he said nothing, she began tapping her foot impatiently. "Well? What do you have to say?"

"I say come down here and rest up."

He hadn't guessed, however, that it would have the same effect on her as a "sit" for him.

She'd gone crashing on top of him, flailing and unable to push herself up. "InuYasha!" she'd gasped, her breath catching . "Let me up!"

End Flashback

He'd hastily told her she could stand up, feeling the blush heating his cheeks. Of course, that hadn't stopped the other reaction of his body, so for the next hour or so he had had to hide himself from her. But the imprint of feeling her body against his was clear to him both physically and mentally. The memory had randomly come into his conscious mind, tormenting him.

"InuYasha, if you wanted to sleep next to me, you could have just asked," Kagome suddenly murmured, scooting backwards to press herself closer to him.

He chuckled, slightly embarrassed, and wrapped his arm around her waist snugly. "Didn't want to 'freak you out'."

She smiled serenely. "Never." With that, she fell back into unconsciousness.

He returned her grin, letting himself go to sleep…but only for a few minutes.

0…0…0

Wow. Well, that didn't end up as expected, either.

Short, yes. But with everything in life, it's just hard to do much writing and I wanted to get this updated.

Question for this chapter:
Do you like stories where Kagome becomes hanyou?

I send my thanks and ask for reviews!
V. L. MacKenzie
aka SS98