Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha any more than you do…

Part Two

It seemed, now that she looked back on it, her life was never quite the same after that little run-in with the handsome man. As soon as Kagome met up with Sango and Miroku, she no longer sighed with longing, or felt that betraying stab of jealousy that most girls felt when faced with true love. No, she no longer yearned for that special man. She felt as though she had already met him, though she shared that thought with no one.

As she walked to her next class, she felt the slight breeze of the coming spring air flirt over her skin. She sighed happily and continued on with a spring in her step and a smile on her lips as she entered her only class of the day. That's when she saw him. Her smiled faded for a moment, then brightened until it was almost blinding.

There, stood the boy, Kouga, she had run into. Suddenly, shyness overcame her and she ducked her head. What should she say to him? What if he didn't remember her? She shook her head and set her books down on her usual desk in the back row and turned to grab the assignment the teacher had left on top of a desk in the front row. She ran into a solid wall and stumbled back, her bottom landing securely on her desk behind her. She looked up at the "wall" she had run into and blushed again. Kouga grinned down at her.

"We have to stop meeting like this, Kagome. What will the others think?"

Her head whipped up and she looked at him in surprise.

"You…remember me?" she asked quietly, searching his face for deception or malice, but found none.

"Of course. I make it a point to remember beautiful women." He looked around him, grabbed the assignment and handed her one. She murmured a thanks and sat down at her desk, quickly averting her eyes to her paper. She had already finished the first half when she felt someone's breath on the back of her neck.

Her spine stiffened slightly until she sensed it was Kouga. She relaxed again and turned her head slightly to look at him in the corner of her eye. Suddenly at ease, she smiled at him.

"Did you need something?" she asked quietly, as to not disturb those around her.

"Not really," he answered with a cocky smirk. She shook her head and turned back to her paper. But it wasn't long until she felt him tap her shoulder. She turned to look at him, an eyebrow raised.

"Yes?"

"Nothing, I just like seeing your face." She blushed and whirled back around, gluing her eyes to her paper. Why did he keep shamelessly flirting with her? There were plenty of other beautiful girls that were eyeing him with interest, but it seemed she was the only one that held his attention. She felt some sort of twisted pride in that.

Almost too soon, the class ended and Kagome got up and gathered her things. Almost immediately, Kouga appeared at her side.

"I'll carry your books. What's your next class?" he said, reaching for her small stack of text books. She cocked her head to the side in confusion, making him grin at her.

"This is my only class today."

"Oh, then where's your car parked?"

"I only live three blocks from here," she said, standing and strapping on her heavy backpack.

He flashed his grin and offered his arm. "Then allow me to escort you back, my lady." She laughed and took his arm gently, loving the new game they were playing. His eyes warmed at the sound of her cheerful laugh and how it seemed to brighten the room, but Kagome was too busy looking at their linked arms in wonder.

Why would some one as handsome and friendly as Kouga want to talk to her? Couldn't he tell she was different? Everyone else seemed to. She turned her attention to his face as they walked along the busy sidewalk. He seemed to notice her sudden attention and looked down at her.

"What?"

"Why are you doing this?" she asked bluntly, bracing herself for him to laugh at her and push her down, then call her names, as the others had. But he only smiled in confusion at her.

"What do you mean?"

"Why are you talking to me? Can't you tell I'm different?" His eyes hardened a bit.

"Why wouldn't I talk to you?"

She turned her sad gaze to the ground below their feet and shook her head. Kouga stopped and shifted her books to one hand so the other could cup her chin and lift it. Her eyes were so tired, so resigned it broke his heart. His thumb skimmed across her porcelain cheek.

"What happened to you?" he asked gently, holding firm when she tried to turn her head away once more. Tears began to swim in her expressive eyes.

"They used to push me down, call me names. I never understood. Why didn't they like me?" she asked, with such heart-breaking childish innocence that Kouga had the urge to shield her from the cruelty of the world, to protect her innocence.

"I don't know, Kagome. I wish I did."

His deep, soothing voice seemed to undo her and she suddenly launched herself against him, burying her face into his shoulder as her shoulders shook with the power of her sobs.

He silently wrapped his free arm around her tiny waist and just held her. Her hands gripped the material of his shirt tightly as she took comfort in his offered compassion and warmth. With a final shudder and a shaky breath, she pulled away, her tear-stained face looked down at the ground in embarrassment. He once again tipped up her face and wiped her remaining tears. He smiled gently down at her.

"You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You went through something no child should ever know. I only wish I could have saved you from it." She smiled weakly at him.

"Why? You just met me."

"True. But I feel like I've known you forever." She nodded in understanding and they walked in silence until they reached her apartment. Kouga gave her the books and stuffed his suddenly nervous hands into his jean pockets and rocked back on his heels, a sheepish smile on his handsome face.

Her lips curved slightly, as her big eyes softened. He looked so unsure of himself, so at odds with the cocky, self-assured boy she'd seen only moments before.

"Well, I guess I'll see you in class sometime. Goodbye, Kagome." She nodded and turned to her door, but didn't make a move to open it. Suddenly, she whirled back around and saw him slowly walking away, his hands still in his pockets, his head bent in thought.

"Kouga!" He lifted his head and she ran to him. She stopped a foot from him and smiled at him.

"What is it?"

"Thank you," she said softly, leaning up to brush her lips lightly against his, before retreating and running back to her apartment, quickly opening it and disappearing inside. Kouga stayed where he was, his fingers lightly touching his lips, a small smiled on his face.

"Anytime, Kagome. I'll be there for you anytime," he whispered before walking off in the opposite direction.


AN: Some of the reviews I got from the first part were asking me if I could continue it and I decided to take a wing at it. I hope it met your expectations. Thanks for reading!

Jane