I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

This was written for FirstTweak's (community./firsttweak/) Management Oneshot Challenge

Kagome was stressed, ridiculously stressed out, and constantly stressing. How was she supposed to do this? It just wasn't possible. Her grades were crap because she was spending so much time in the feudal era, but she needed to be there! She needed to be at school though too if she ever wanted to have a career. She didn't want to grow up and work at WacDonalds! All the dreams she'd had before she got dragged down the well the first time were fading away right before her eyes. With the grades she had now she would be lucky to even get accepted into any college at all. Before her fifteenth birthday she had plans. She wanted to be a doctor, but being a doctor took good grades and tons of time and time was something she just didn't have enough of.

While Kagome was freaking out, trying to get caught up in at least one class before she had to return to the past, her mother was watching her poor daughter tearing her hair out. Something had to be done. Something needed to change. Kagome just couldn't keep going at the pace she was. She would simply burn out and then she wouldn't be any good on either side of the well. This was well beyond needing to work on her time management skills. Her daughter needed to make a decision and she needed to make it soon.

"Kagome, honey, can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Can't Mom! I gotta get this done! Inuyasha's gonna be here to drag me back any time now."

"Sweetie, that's what I want to talk to you about. You're running yourself ragged. You can't keep going like this."

"Well what exactly do you think I should do then?" Kagome almost yelled, exasperated and exhausted. "I can't keep up in school unless I spend a lot more time here and if I don't keep up then I'm going to fail. Then I'm not going to get into college and I'll never have a career! Mama, I'm scared. My grades are so low I'll probably get held back and then I'll spend next year struggling to keep up with the same things I can't keep up with now all over again!"

"Are you sure that you'll still be needed in the past in a year? You might finish your quest and be able to get your life back."

"We're never going to find all the jewel shards and Naraku because we're spending half the time I'm there travelling back to the well so I can come home for exams I'm not even ready for!"

"Well then maybe you need to spend more time here for a while until you're caught up. I'm sure your friends can keep looking without you."

"Mama, I just don't know what to do. I need to be there but if I keep this up then by the time I'm no longer needed there I'll have completely ruined my life here!"

"Sweetie, you have to choose. You can either spend most of your time in the feudal era or most of your time here. After it's all over you're planning on coming home to stay?"

"I've been thinking about that a lot. As much as I'd miss them, there isn't a reason for me to stay. Inu…" Kagome trailed off with a sigh. "There won't be anything for me there, no life for me there."

"Well?"

"I guess that means my choice is obvious. I need to stay here. I need to keep up with my studies and actually go to school so I can get into a good college. But how am I going to tell Inuyasha? He's going to pitch a fit if I want to spend more time here." Kagome's eyes widened for a moment as a thought struck her. "He wouldn't let me stay. He needs his 'jewel detector'. But he doesn't need me… just someone who can sense the shards. If I left then maybe he could get Kikyo to help them instead. Maybe… I'm going to have to…" Her voice cracked and she wiped her cheeks on her sleeve. "…say goodbye."

"I know it'll be hard sweetheart, but you have to do what is best for you." While Kagome's mother did her best to console her daughter Inuyasha walked slowly back to the well. He'd come for her only to hear that she was going to leave them. His chest hurt and he was finding it rather difficult to breathe. Kagome was leaving him. She couldn't leave! They… they had jewel shards to find. He growled softly. Even to himself he couldn't admit what she meant to him, just how important she was, just how strongly he felt about her. She was so much more than a jewel detector. In all honesty she wasn't a jewel detector at all, not to him. Sure, she could sense the jewel shards but that wasn't what mattered. If she lost the ability to sense the shards tomorrow he wouldn't bat an eye. He would still want her with him no matter what. He needed her with him. Damn it, she promised she would always be by his side! She promised! She couldn't leave him!

The memory of how his life was before she came into it made his chest hurt even more. Even with Kikyo he had still been alone. Kagome had changed the entire world for him. She accepted him for who and what he was and taught him how to accept himself. She gave him friends. She held their group together. If she left he would be alone again. Miroku, Sango, and Shippo wouldn't stay without her, he was certain of it. Losing her would kill him, but he didn't know how to stop her, how to keep her. He thought she had feelings for him, but she said that there was nothing for her in his time. Had she finally realized that he didn't deserve her love? If she cared about him she wouldn't leave him. She would want to stay with him; she would want to stay in the feudal era even after their quest was over. He'd always just assumed she would stay, had taken her presence for granted, and now he would pay for it.

He should have treated her better. He should have said thank you for all the ramen she'd made him. He should have appreciated it when she carefully dressed his wounds instead of acting tough and saying she was wasting her time. He should have wrapped his arms around her and never let go. Inuyasha jumped into the portal between their times and instead of returning to the village to the rest of his group he went to sit in the God Tree.

As he sat high in the branches he thought about when he'd opened his eyes and saw her for the first time. For a moment he'd thought she was Kikyo, but just for a moment. When she glared at him and told him her name, the passion in her eyes, the emotions… there was no way she was Kikyo. Kikyo had always been cold and calm, but Kagome was warm and full of life. Kagome was so many things that Kikyo had never been and could never be. He needed Kagome. He couldn't live without her. He loved her.

How could she think there was nothing in his time for her? He was there. Was he not what she wanted anymore or had she never really wanted him at all? Had everything she'd ever said been nothing but a lie? She'd said it once, even though he pretended not to remember it. He could never forget when she said she loved him as a hanyou, though now he found that he wished he could forget it. If she was going to leave then he needed to be able to forget it all, to forget her completely. Otherwise the pain would drag him down until he drowned in his misery. Life without her just wasn't worth living and nothing could change that fact.

--

Kagome had given up on her school work for the time being. She was going to go to the past and spend a few days with them before saying her final good-byes and then she would be home for good and she would have all the time in the world for her studies, the way it should have always been. She cried as she packed her bag for the last time, adding extra supplies for her friends. She couldn't believe that she was going to leave them and never go back. A part of her had begun to think of the past as home, a part of her that loved the hanyou she could never have. She wished things could be different, but they couldn't. He could never love her. He would always chase the ghost of his love for Kikyo. Kagome knew she could never take Kikyo's place in Inuyasha's heart. She couldn't even find her own place there. Kikyo's memory dominated it and blocked her out entirely.

She wondered why he hadn't come for her yet. She'd been expecting him hours earlier. 'Probably off looking for Kikyo again,' she thought bitterly. She knew that she shouldn't hate the dead priestess. It wasn't Kikyo's fault that Inuyasha couldn't move on. Sure, she didn't help things by showing up and making him feel guilty, but why should she have to stay away? Kagome was the one who didn't belong there. Kagome was the one from a different time, a different world. No matter how much she wished she could call the past her home and the hanyou that held her heart hers she knew it could never be.

Kikyo had been right all along. She didn't belong there. She was just a worthless copy that could never compare to the original. Saying good-bye was the best thing for everybody. Then they could have a real miko lead them to the shards, a miko who could shoot an arrow and hit the mark, a miko who could control her power and use it to help them. She was useless to them, a weak burden that always needed protecting and rescuing. She was a liability. They would be better off without her.

Even with the extra supplies, her bag was still incredibly light when it wasn't stuffed with her school books. It all evened out though. Her heavy heart more than made up for the missing weight. She'd decided that she wasn't going to tell them right away. She was going to spend a few days with them, mostly so she would have just a few more good memories to take home with her. She wouldn't tell them until the last day when she would leave. There was no point in making everyone depressed and dragging it out. She would tell them her decision, say her good-byes, and then go home. 'Home,' she thought sadly. Kaede's hut was like a second home to her and she was going to walk away from it and never return.

It took everything she had to stop crying. She washed her face to get rid of the scent of her tears. Now all she had to do was keep from crying again. She didn't know if she could do it, but she had to try. It was getting dark by the time she crossed the shrine and entered the well house. She looked at the one constant between the worlds, the well that would carry her to them one last time, and choked back a sob. She sat down on the ledge and turned before dropping into the well. The bright blue light shone around her, cradling her until her feet landed softly on the dirt at the bottom. She was in the feudal era again. She was in the feudal era for the last time. Kagome tried to push the thought out of her mind and began the climb out of the well, finding it so much easier because of the light weight of her bag.

When she made it to the top Kagome took a few minutes to look at the bright starlit sky. It was beautiful, something she could never match in her time. The lights of the city made seeing the stars at night impossible. It was just one more thing she would never see again. Finally she decided she needed to get to the village. The light of the waning moon lit her path and she walked like a zombie, her thoughts whirling, distracting her from her surroundings as her feet continued on autopilot.

--

He'd caught her scent on the breeze the second she'd crossed into his time and Inuyasha had gone to the well in silence, wanting to see her, to see if he could figure out why she'd chosen… why she wanted to leave him. He watched her stare at the night sky for a few minutes and then followed her in the treetops as she walked towards the village. He could tell she was distracted and he could smell the sadness on her, souring her sweet scent. It hurt just to look at her, but he still had to protect her, to make sure she was safe, so he continued to watch over her. When she finally reached Kaede's hut and went inside he made himself comfortable, or as comfortable as a hanyou with a broken heart could be, on the roof so he could listen in without announcing his presence.

Shippo had immediately pounced on her and Kagome hugged the kit tightly, not wanting to give up the feeling of the child in her arms. "Kagome? Kagome, what's wrong?" He could smell her sadness and was immediately worried. "What did he say this time?"

"Huh? Oh, nothings wrong, sweetie. No one said anything. I didn't even see Inuyasha."

Shippo frowned at her obvious lie. Something was definitely wrong.

"What do you mean you didn't see Inuyasha? He didn't bring you back?" Sango asked, surprised. The hanyou had left to go fetch her hours ago and had yet to return.

"No, he never came to get me. I came back on my own." Kagome's voice was soft and sad no matter how hard she was trying to hide it.

"That is strange. Inuyasha left quite a while ago. He said that it was time for you to come back. He never showed up?"Miroku frowned. "I wonder where he could be."

Shippo glanced at the ceiling for a second but said nothing. If Inuyasha wanted to hide it wasn't his problem. He was more worried about Kagome. She'd dropped her bag and sat down, pulling her legs to her chest and resting her head on her knees. She was looking at the floor and had the saddest expression he'd ever seen on her pretty face. "Kagome? Are you sure you're alright?"

She opened her arms to the kit and snuggled him, burying her nose in his fiery orange hair. "I'm fine Shippo. Don't worry about me." She allowed her fingers to slowly untangle the fur of his tail, not noticing the worried look shared between Sango and Miroku. "I don't know where Inuyasha is, but I have a pretty good guess." Her tone was dark and again her friends studied her with concern.

Kagome set the kit on his feet and lay down on her mat, rolling to stare at the wall. She couldn't look at them, not now. She only had so much time left with them and Inuyasha wasn't even there. As much as she tried not to be hurt by it she couldn't help it. Every time he went to Kikyo it shattered the pieces of her broken heart a little more, every time left her a little bit emptier. As she lay there in silence she listened as Sango and Miroku began whispering to each other, assuming she was asleep. They were worried about her but they made the same assumption as to where the hanyou was and figured that she was just upset about the same old thing again, not for a moment considering that it was something so much bigger.

Inuyasha lay of the roof of the hut, listening to the monk and slayer talk about him, about how he always hurt Kagome by going to Kikyo. He'd had no idea that every time he left that's where they assumed he went. Did Kagome think the same thing? Did she think he'd been running off to see Kikyo at least once every single week? He wasn't. He hadn't seen the undead priestess for months and he didn't even desire to. He figured out a long time ago that she wasn't Kikyo, not the Kikyo he'd known. Even if she was he wouldn't have gone to her. He could see now that she'd never really accepted him, never really loved him, not as a hanyou, not if she wanted him to become human.

It made him angry that they assumed that he was 'cheating' on Kagome as they called it. He was tired of the kit calling him a two-timer. All this time they'd been confirming Kagome's insecurities, painting him as the bad guy, and he hadn't known. When Kagome was in her era he spent most of the time away from the group and he was now certain that they'd been leading her to believe he was with Kikyo then as well. It explained why Kagome was always so angry when he came back, why she refused to look at him, why she would 'sit' him for no reason at all. It shed some light on why she thought there was nothing for her in his time. She thought he was still in love with Kikyo. She didn't know he needed her, didn't know that he loved her, was in love with her.

She didn't know what he was really doing when he disappeared because it was a secret, a surprise, but maybe he should have told her anyway. Either way, she was not leaving him without knowing. He would take her there. He would let her see where he'd been, what he'd been doing. Maybe then she would believe him because he was sure she wouldn't if he just told her he wasn't with Kikyo. She'd been thinking it for too long. No, she needed to see. It wasn't done, but with a few more little things it would be good enough to show her. He would find out how long she intended to stay and then go and get her secret gift ready for her.

The hanyou waited until he was sure that everyone inside was asleep, Kaede having returned shortly after Kagome had drifted off. Finally all that could be heard in the crowded little hut was the slow, even breathing of its inhabitants and Inuyasha slipped silently inside. He sat beside Kagome's head and gently brushed his fingers through her hair. He often did so while she slept, letting his true feelings become visible only when no one could see.

He should have known better. He should have shown her, let her see how he felt about her instead of hiding it under his brash attitude and short temper. He was just afraid, afraid that one day she would realize that he was just a hanyou, unworthy of her time and attention, unworthy of her care and compassion, unworthy of her friendship and love. Maybe if he hadn't allowed his fears to control his actions she wouldn't be planning on leaving him for good.

Inuyasha spent the rest of the night at her side, every now and then touching her hair or her cheek, once daring to slide his thumb over her soft pouty lips while wishing he could kiss her… just once before she left him, just once before he lost her. As the sun started to rise over the horizon he slipped out of the hut and took up his place on the roof once more, hoping that she would give him the time he needed, praying that he could change her mind.

--

All she wanted to do was sleep, but she was only going to be with them for a few more days and she knew she needed to spend that time with her friends. Finally she sat up and looked around the hut, a wave of disappointment rushing over her when she saw that Inuyasha still wasn't there. Sango offered her a bowl and Kagome accepted it and ate without seeing or tasting her breakfast. It was like her entire body was on autopilot while her mind was numb from the crushing pain and sadness.

"How many days with you be with us this time, Kagome?" Miroku asked in an attempt to distract her from her thoughts. He was certain that she was upset because Inuyasha had yet to return. Kagome always took it hard when the hanyou went to see his once dead love. Why he couldn't see what he was doing to her, the monk would never understand but he wanted to make him see it. If Inuyasha kept hurting her and pushing her away one day she might not come back. There was only so much any one person could take and Kagome had taken more than her fair share. He wouldn't blame her in the least if she couldn't stand the blatant betrayal any longer.

"I can only stay for three days. I have another important exam to get ready for." She lied emotionlessly, feeling like nothing but an empty shell of who she used to be. How was she going to walk away from her friends? They were like her second family. Kaede was like her grandmother and Sango and Miroku were like siblings. Shippo, the little orphaned kit was like her own child and she was going to leave him alone again. She was going to make him lose another person that was important to him. It wasn't fair to any of them, but her staying in the past and ruining her future for nothing wasn't fair to her.

If there was some kind of future for her here, if there was something to look forward to once they'd finished their quest then she would stay in an instant, but there was nothing. Shippo would grow up and would no longer need her. Miroku and Sango would get married and have children. Inuyasha… Inuyasha would go to Kikyo and they would have another chance to be together, a chance to replace the one that had been stolen from them by Naraku fifty years earlier.

The kitsune looked at the ceiling again as he heard the hanyou move. Then Inuyasha was gone again and Shippo frowned. Didn't he care at all? He had to know how upset Kagome was. How could he just leave? How could he leave without at least seeing her first? How could he go to Kikyo when Kagome was willing to love him with everything she had?

Kagome tried to act normally, though the longer Inuyasha was gone the harder it got. She went with Sango to bathe in the hot spring but stayed silent no matter how the slayer tried to distract her with conversation. She helped Kaede pick herbs, only half listening as the elder miko tried to teach her their various uses. What was the point anyway? She meditated with Miroku but she just couldn't focus. She watched Shippo play with the village children and she had to walk away, unable to watch their happiness. Ever since she'd met Inuyasha she'd always dreamt of what their puppy eared children would look like. Now she doubted she would ever have children at all. No man in her time would ever compare in bravery and strength to her hanyou. 'No,' she corrected herself. 'Kikyo's hanyou. Inuyasha has never been mine.'

They spent two whole days and nights in the village, wondering where Inuyasha was and if he ever intended to return. Finally on the morning of the third and final day he showed up, walking into the hut like he hadn't been missing at all. He growled under his breath at the glares his companions gave him and sat down without saying a word. He was tired and sore, having worked straight through two days and nights to make everything he could perfect for her, but he didn't have time to rest. He had to figure out how he was going to convince her to go with him, how he was going to get her to talk to him. His bangs hid his eyes as he watched all of them; slowly realizing that they had no idea what Kagome was planning. Was she not going to tell them at all? Was she intending to just leave and never come back? Didn't they at least deserve some kind of explanation?

"So when are you leaving, wench?" he asked with a snarl.

Kagome turned and looked at him in surprise. "Do you… do you want me to go, Inuyasha?"

"What fucking difference does it make? You've already decided. You're just gonna get up and walk away. You haven't even told them, have you?"

"Told them what?" she whispered, unsure why he seemed so angry at her.

He chuckled darkly. "You really haven't told them. I thought they were your friends. You're going to run home like a little girl and cry to your mommy and leave us behind to clean up the mess you made!" He knew his temper was getting the best of him but he hadn't slept at all and the longer he thought about her wanting to leave him the angrier he got.

"How do you…?" Kagome started, but he cut her off.

"I heard you. I heard you say you were going to come back and say goodbye. You promised me. You promised me you would always be by my side and you're just going to leave."

"Kagome? What is he talking about?" Sango asked, thoroughly and utterly confused by the hanyou's angry words.

The miko from the future glared at Inuyasha with something like hatred in her eyes. He'd never seen her look at him like that before and it felt like she'd just dug claws into his heart. "Why should I stay? Why should I ruin my life in my time when you can just as easily use Kikyo to find the shards? Why do you even care?" Kagome was yelling, all her sadness turning to anger at his words. "You spend more time with her than you do me anyway! You knew I intended to leave and you didn't even bother to be here to spend time with me before I was gone!"

"I wasn't with Kikyo," he snarled. Both of them had gotten to their feet now and were staring each other down.

"Bullshit! You're always with Kikyo! You're always sneaking off to see her. Do you think I'm stupid? Did you think I wouldn't notice? I thought… No, you know what, I am stupid. I am beyond stupid. I've wasted over a year of my life on you, hoping that you would see me, that you would see Kagome, but no. You couldn't do that. You couldn't see anything more than your fucking shard detector. So tell me, why the fuck should I stay? Why should I sit here and worry about you and wonder if you're safe or if she's dragged you to hell?"

"You wanna know why you should stay, bitch?" Sango gasped and Miroku caught Shippo's tail before he threw himself at the hanyou, the kit infuriated by Inuyasha's treatment of Kagome. "Because I wasn't fucking with Kikyo! I haven't seen her in months. You want to know why you should stay? Because you promised me you'd stay. Because you're not fucking done here!"

"Oh I'm done here! I'm well past done here! Why should I believe you? Why should I give up my plans, my dreams? Why should I let my grades slip until my life is ruined? Why shouldn't I leave?"

"Fuck your school, and fuck your grades, and fuck your fucking whiny ass! You don't want to give up your plans? You don't want to give up your dreams? What about my fucking dreams? What about my plans? You never asked me where I was! You just assumed! You decided that's where you thought I was and that's all you want to believe! You have no fucking clue where I've been or what I've been doing, but instead of asking you let them convince you I'm off with her? Damn it bitch, you are not leaving!"

Kagome got a dark look in her eyes and a small smirk pulled at her lips. "Sit," she said calmly, watching him slam to the ground, rattling the dishes where they sat on the shelves. "I made my decision, Inuyasha. There is nothing here for me, no reason to stay. You have made that very clear." Her voice was soft as she spoke, staring at him face down on the floor. "If I were you I would stay down." Inuyasha didn't listen as he lifted himself, arms shaking with the strain of fighting the spell. "Inuyasha, sit down." Again he slammed face first into the ground and she could hear his muffled cursing and again he tried to lift himself. This time she allowed him to try until he could look up at her. "This bitch will leave whenever she wants to. I still haven't heard a reason to stay."

"Kagome," he muttered, frustrated and straining to keep his upper body off the ground. "I'll give you a reason to stay."

She looked at him for a moment before shaking her head. "No. If there was a reason for me to stay you would have given it to me a long time ago. You don't want me. You just want a shard detector."

Finally the hanyou could lift himself to his knees and he reached out quickly, grabbing her hand and pulling her to her knees before him. "You are not a shard detector. Kagome, please."

"Please what?" she hissed, trying to pull away from him while he held on to her upper arms.

"Please listen to me."

"I've been listening to you. You don't care about me. You don't care about my life or my future. You just want the fucking jewel."

"If I didn't care about your life then why would I risk mine to save you? If I didn't care about your future then what the fuck have I been wasting my time on for months? Damn it Kagome, stop being so damned stubborn! You can't leave me!"

"Why can't I?" she growled at him, finally getting out of his grasp. She heard Sango's gasp and looked at her arms, seeing blood running from long thin cuts left by his claws. "SIT!" This time though, Inuyasha didn't hit the ground. He caught himself and now remained on his hands and knees, his entire body shaking, whether from the anger or the strain she didn't know. She was just about to say the command again when she heard him whisper something. "What did you say?" she whispered back.

He fought with every bit of his strength to lift his head and look into her eyes. "I said you can't leave me wench. You can't leave me… because I love you."

"You what?" She had to have misheard. There was no way Inuyasha had just said what she thought she heard.

The hanyou didn't reply for a moment and she watched as he struggled to get to his feet. "I said I fucking love you, bitch!" He watched nervously as her bottom lip started to quiver and her eyes shined brightly with tears threatening to fall. He reached out and pulled her to his chest, wrapping his arms around her. He buried his face in her hair and breathed her scent in deeply. "I love you and I can prove it. I can prove I haven't been with Kikyo. I can prove I care about your future… our future. Will you let me show you?"

Kagome nodded against him, her arms slipping around his waist. "You love me?"

He pulled back and looked into her eyes again. "Yes, I love you." It was then that he noticed the blood staining her white sleeves. "Shit. Why'd you try to get away from me, Kagome? I didn't mean to hurt you!"

"It doesn't matter," she mumbled into his chest. "I can't even feel it."

"You're a liar," he said in a frustrated tone before pulling her close again. He lifted her into his arms and walked out of the hut, leaving behind three stunned and confused onlookers.

"I don't get it. So was Kagome going to leave?" Sango asked Miroku after a few minutes.

"It seems so, but I think she will be staying after all," the monk answered.

Shippo stayed silent but had a dumb smile on his face. Finally Inuyasha had said it and now Kagome would stay with them forever. For once the hanyou stopped being a moron and did something right.

--

He'd carried her to the nearby stream before he sat down and carefully peeled the bloody sleeves off her upper arms to see where his claws had dug in to her delicate human flesh. She hissed in pain and he softly kissed the still bleeding cuts in apology, making her gasp as he slipped his tongue out to trace the lines.

"What are you doing?"

"You're bleeding," he said between long swipes of his hot tongue.

"I know that silly. Why are you licking me?"

He glanced up at her and gave her a fanged smirk. "You taste good. Besides, this is better than your bandages anyway."

Kagome blushed at his odd compliment. "How is this better?"

"Do they still hurt?"

Kagome thought about it for a minute before answering in surprise. "No… they don't. What did you do?"

"I licked you," he said with another smirk before kissing from the now closing wounds up her shoulder and to the curve of her throat.

She let out a little moan of pleasure as he licked under her ear. "If you knew licking the wounds would heal them then why have you never done it before?"

"And you would have just sat there and let me lick you?" he asked. "Doubtful."

Kagome laughed softly before gasping again as he licked her throat. "Then why now?"

"Because you're mine and now you know it," he whispered before nibbling gently at her earlobe. He pulled away reluctantly and laughed as she whimpered in disappointment. "I have something to show you and if I don't stop now we'll never get there." Kagome giggled as he stood with her still in his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist and smirking when he groaned. "We still might not get there." She lowered her head to rest on his shoulder, giving in to the temptation to kiss the line of his jaw. "Kagome," he moaned. "If you don't stop that I'm going to fuck you right here in the middle of the forest."

"Mmmm… Maybe that's what I want."

"No," he said, though he didn't sound convinced. "Not the first time. We're gonna do this right, Kagome. I owe you that much. Besides, I have plans."

"And just where are we going then?"

He smirked again and pressed his lips to her cheek. "Somewhere special. Now be a good girl so I can get us there!"

Kagome laughed and kept her lips to herself as her hanyou, and yes, he really was her hanyou now, ran through the forest at high speed. When she was beginning to think he would run forever he slowed to a walk. "Are we there yet?"

"Almost." He lowered her to her feet and took her hand. "Close your eyes." She obeyed, trusting Inuyasha to keep her from walking into any trees as he led her towards his surprise. Finally they stopped again and he kissed her cheek softly. "Okay, open them Kagome."

The miko slowly opened her eyes and gasped at the sight before her. "This… this is what you've been doing all this time?"

He nodded. "For our future. We can't stay with Kaede forever."

"You mean you've been planning…"

"To keep you?" he finished for her. "To make you my mate, my wife, the mother of my pups? Of course, Kagome. But will you stay?"

She threw her arms around him and kissed him until neither could wait for breath a second longer. "Of course I'll stay. Inuyasha, I didn't want to leave… I just thought…"

"You thought I was still in love with Kikyo."

She lowered her head and looked at the ground. "Yeah…"

"I should have shown you this a long time ago, or at least shown you how I felt. Come on. Let me show you now." She didn't know if he meant the surprise or his feelings, but either way she was eager see. He took her hand and pulled her gently towards the project he'd been working on every minute he could spare for months. "I tried to make it as much like home as possible for you," he said as he led her up the dirt path to the front door of their future home. Apparently he'd been studying her house for some time now and she was impressed. "Totosai made these things," he said, pointing to the hinges on the door. "In the kitchen too."

"It's amazing," she whispered in awe. It really was amazing. Compared to Kaede's hut, even compared to the huts of the village headmen where their group had stayed multiple times after Miroku 'exercised the demons' from the luxurious homes, it was impressive. He'd managed to duplicate the floor plan of her house almost exactly, even the second floor. He led her though each room, noting features he was especially proud of and she smiled as she noticed a vase of fresh flowers and curtains hanging over the windows. He'd done an amazing job and soon Kagome was crying. He'd been working so hard and it had to have taken forever and she'd punished him, 'sat' him into the ground because she thought he was with Kikyo. "I don't deserve this."

Inuyasha pulled her into his arms and kissed her tear stained cheeks. "If I didn't think you deserved it I wouldn't have done it. No crying. I haven't shown you my favorite rooms yet." He led her up the stairs and she grinned as she saw several doors, including what she was sure would be her, no, their bedroom. "These three, these are my second favorite," he said before opening one of the doors he'd pointed to.

Kagome gasped and the tears returned. "It's a nursery," she whispered. "And the others…"

"One is like this one and the other…" He opened the third door. "This one is for the runt."

"Shippo?"

"You know he calls you Mama when he thinks no one's around to hear. And I know you think of him as yours. He belongs here with us."

"Show me your favorite room," she said softly, eager to thank him properly for his hard work and his sweet thoughts and romantic plans.

"You sure?" he asked. He wanted her so badly he thought he might explode, but he didn't want her to do something she wasn't ready for.

"I'm sure, Inuyasha. Show me our bedroom."

The hanyou smirked and opened the last door. He was especially proud of this room. He'd built a bed that sat off the floor like hers did and even had something similar to her mattress fashioned. It was stuffed with the softest feathers he could find and was quite comfortable. He'd been doing work at nearby villages in exchange for the bedding and fabric for the curtains. Sure, he probably could have asked Kagome's mother for help, but then it wouldn't have been a surprise. Kagome could bring back from her time whatever she thought they would want or need anyway. He'd covered the basics, knowing that any woman would want input on the decorating. He was relieved that she seemed happy and when she pulled her hand out of his to shut the door, closing them in the bedroom, he smiled.

"I think we need to christen this room," she said seductively, her hands slipping under his haori to brush against the bare skin of his chest.

"I don't know what the fuck christen means, but if it means break it in them I'm all for it."

Kagome laughed and pushed his haori open and off his shoulders, the cloth of the fire rat pooling on the floor at his feet. The miko made a little pleased moan at the sight of his deliciously chiseled chest and abdomen before her fingertips began tracing the dips of definition. Inuyasha stood in silence, reveling in her touch. Her small soft hands felt amazing on his hot skin and his breath caught in his throat when they moved lower to untie his hakama. He was suddenly nervous and as she began to push the fabric off his hips he caught the waist of his pants and held them up, making Kagome give him an odd look. "Inuyasha?"

"Kagome… I… I've never…"

She smiled at him and began unbuttoning her shirt, his eyes locked on her hands until she dropped the blood stained fabric to the floor. She reached behind her and unhooked her bra, watching his face as she slowly slid it off. Kagome reached out and took hold of his hands, bringing them to rest on her sides. "Inuyasha, neither have I, but I've always known it would be you. Relax. We'll figure it out together."

She watched his eyes as he studied her, finally moving his hands, sliding them up her curves to brush over her breasts softly. Her nipples tightened at his touch and a clawed finger traced circles around them before he leaned down and caught one between his lips, flicking his tongue over the hard peak. He sucked gently and when she moaned for him he moved to the other, sucking a little harder, listening as she moaned louder. "You're perfect," he whispered, one hand sliding down to trace the star shaped scar on her side where the jewel had been ripped from her body. "So soft. So sweet."

His hands were occupied and he was distracted, so for a moment he didn't notice as she slipped his hakama off his hips, but when her small hand wrapped around his rock hard erection his attention was captured. She hesitantly stroked him with one hand while the other brushed through soft silver fur. His eyes were locked on her hands again, enthralled by the new sensations she was evoking in him. Her hands felt so much better than his ever had.

Kagome smirked and pulled her hands away, placing them both on his chest. He allowed her to push him backwards until the backs of his knees hit the bed and he fell backwards. He watched as she unzipped her skirt and let it fall to the ground, leaving her covered by nothing but a little scrap of white fabric. Ever so slowly, knowing his eyes were trained on her body, Kagome peeled her panties down her legs before stepping out of them, leaving her completely bare before a just as naked Inuyasha.

She sauntered towards the bed and leaned down; thrilled by the fact that Inuyasha seemed unable to move as he stared at her body. Her lips brushed the tip of his erection and he gasped. Her tongue snaked out and circled the sensitive head, making his eyes roll back in his head. He had no idea what she was doing but it didn't matter. It felt amazing. His eyes popped back open as he felt her lips wrap around his cock, sliding into her hot mouth. He moaned as he watched her moving up and down, his cock disappearing between her lips while her tongue teased it. He'd never experienced anything even close to a pleasurable as what she was doing to him. He could feel the pressure building and he knew he wouldn't last much longer.

"Kag… Kagome," he groaned. "You… you have to stop."

She pulled back entirely and blew softly over his moist skin. "Why do I have to stop?" she asked playfully.

"You… I…"

"Inuyasha," she said slowly, her fingertips sliding over hot aching flesh teasingly. "It's alright. I want to do this." His eyes widened as she went back to work, bringing him to the edge again quickly. His hands tightened to fists, his claws digging into his palms while he tongue did the most amazing thing he'd ever felt. His muscles tightened, his back stiffened, and it took every ounce of control he had to keep from howling as he came in her mouth. He expected her to pull back, to be disgusted, but she didn't. No, Kagome continued her ministrations, drawing out his orgasm and swallowing every drop he gave her. When she finally pulled away he watched in awe as she licked her lips and smiled at him. "Good?"

"Mmm, better than good. Damn, Kagome, what the fuck was that?"

The miko giggled at Inuyasha's surprise and confusion. "That, my dear hanyou, was what they call a blow job. So then you liked it?" Kagome found herself underneath Inuyasha in an instant as he kissed every inch of skin he could find. She writhed in pleasure as he torturously licked and sucked her nipples while his hands explored her body.

Clawed fingers found their way to soft black curls, continuing to slide between slick folds and press gently into her body. He smirked as her back arched and he slowly pumped his fingers in and out, his thumb brushing a spot that seemed to get the most response from her. He kissed and licked her abdomen while he continued his motions, watching her face as she moaned sweetly just for him. He was immediately hard as a rock again and he couldn't wait any longer. He needed to have her, to fill her, to fuck her senseless, and when he crawled up her body, his hips coming to rest between her legs, she lifted her head to kiss him softly.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked her, unsure if he would be able to stop himself once he got started. Her legs wrapped around his hips, pulling him closer until his cock slipped between her folds, the heat and slickness making him moan and roll his hips slightly.

"I'm sure. Just… just go slow, alright?"

Inuyasha nodded and carefully lined himself up with her entrance, slowly pushing his way inside. She was so tight he was certain he wouldn't fit, but her hips lifted and he found himself fully sheathed in her heat. He looked at her face, seeing her eyes tightly closed, and pulled back before sliding back in again. She moaned and he repeated his action, pulling out a bit further this time. Her eyes opened slowly and she smiled at him, lifting her hips to meet his gentle thrust. "Are you alright?" he asked nervously, afraid that he was hurting her and she was hiding it.

"Better than alright," she moaned softly. "More… Faster," she ordered; her hanyou more than happy to meet her demands. His hands moved to her waist and he lifted her slightly, groaning as he slid even deeper inside her heat. Soon he was moving at a much faster pace, though he was still taking care to not hurt her. "Inuyasha, let go… Harder… Please!" He smirked at the desperation in her voice and thrust harder, the sound of his skin hitting hers accompanied by her whimpers and moans of pleasure like music to his ears.

He couldn't take his eyes off her face. She looked beautiful, flushed pink and sweating slightly while letting out the sexiest sounds ever made. Her eyes opened wide in surprise as her first orgasm hit her, her hot, slick, tight passage clamping down around him, trying to pull him deeper. He hadn't thought she could possibly be any tighter but he was proven wrong. He continued his thrusts, determined to make her make that face and those sounds again.

His hands on her waist tilted her hips just a little more and she let out a surprised moan as he hit just the right spot. Soon her walls were rippling around him in orgasm again and this time he joined her, holding her hips tightly to his as he released his seed deep inside her. The rush of heat caused her to orgasm again and Inuyasha collapsed over her, panting in awe of just how wonderful she felt. He didn't want to leave her depths, ever. It felt so right, being inside her while holding her close. It felt like… like home. He held her to him while rolling them until she lay on his chest, their bodies still intimately connected.

When he could speak again, Inuyasha brushed his hands through her hair and looked into her pleased, sleepy eyes. "Definitely time well spent," he said with a grin.

"Fuck school," she mumbled, nuzzling her face into his chest. "I'm staying right here… forever."