~December 25; Christmas Day~

Kagome paced back and forth next to the small pond her hands knotting nervously in front of her. The bag that hung from her shoulder lightly banged against her thigh with every step she took. The snow under her feet crunched leaving a trail of foot prints coming and going telling anyone who saw it that she was undoubtedly nervous. "What am I thinking?" She mumbled to herself as she looked around the area. "No," she gave a curt shake of her head. "it's more of what WAS I thinking with this crazy idea?"

She looked down at the bag hanging from her shoulder the box wrapped in red paper with Christmas trees and snowflakes peeking out at her. She had to have gone out of her mind with wanting to give him something for Christmas. Actually what she was doing was signing her own death certificate.

Her pacing resumed with her mumbling to herself about how stupid she was for doing this but not once did leaving and forgetting about it cross her mind.

"Miko."

Kagome spun around far to so fast she stumbled over her own feet at the sudden sound of the deep voice from behind her. Her wide eyes locked with his and suddenly fear creped up her spine knotting her stomach and causing her throat to become very dry.

Naraku stared hard at his enemy waiting for her to gather her senses and explain to him why she called him to meet her. When Kagura handed him the message from his miko enemy he could hardly believe it. She actually wanted to meet him and meet him alone and under the guise of a one day truce between the two of them. His curiosity got the best of him and he decided that he would agree to meet her and under the terms of a truce. Besides if he didn't like why she met him or if she tried to trick him he would just kill her and be done with it or he would just do that anyway.

Kagome swallowed hard and shifted nervously under his steely gaze. "Umm... Merry Christmas." She stammered trying to keep her voice under control.

Ruby eyes narrowed dangerously. "Merry Christmas? Are those words of a spell of some sort for if they are I will kill you now."

Kagome shook her head quickly and held her hands out in front of her to ward off the verbal threat. "No," she shook her head again. "definitely not." She laughed nervously. "That is what you say on this day Merry Christmas."

He stared at her for a moment as he tried to sort out what this was all about. "Explain to me what this is Merry Christmas thing is."

"It's not a thing." She started with a small smile as her fear settled somewhat. "It's a special day that comes once a year. Today is the day when you exchange gifts and wish your fellow man happy wishes." She reached into her bag, pulled out the box, and held it out to him. "This is for you, Merry Christmas."

Naraku eyed the brightly colored box she held in her hands he had never seen anything so strange in his whole life. Then the girl was generally a strange creature anyway. He couldn't feel any magic coming from the object but then again it could be surrounded in a spell suppressing any magical qualities it had. "What is it?" He asked with a dangerous edge to his voice.

Kagome smiled nervously at him. "You have to open it."

"It is a trap." He bit out threateningly ready strike her dead on the spot.

She shook her head at him. "No it's not a trap. It's a gift that I got for you." She smiled sweetly up at him trying to keep her nerves from getting the best of her.

'A gift?' He questioned himself pretty sure she had gone made in the head. No one ever gave anything to him willingly he just took it and his victims hoped they lived to see the next day. "What is it?" He wasn't going to take the box even if he didn't feel any threat coming from the object. He didn't make it this far in his life by taking everything anyone said to him to be the truth. He mired himself in mistrust and evil in order to never be caught off guard by anyone for any reason.

Kagome sighed her fear leaving with the exhale. "You have to open it to find out what's inside." She took three steps towards him putting her only a foot or so away from him. "Naraku I promise you this will bring you no harm. I just want to give you something and try to bring you the same joy that this day brings me."

Naraku could easily see the sincerity and hope in her eyes that she was in fact trying to grant him a kind gesture. With narrowed crimsons he reached out and took the box from her hands. "Miko this had better not be a trick or I will strike you dead on this day." He growled.

"No tricks I promise." She smiled hugely at him. "Open it." She chirped she wanting to see his face when he opened it.

He looked at her then down at the object in his hands and ran one of his clawed fingers across the strange paper. The paper easily gave way revealing a white box underneath causing him to look at her like she had in fact lost her mind. "You have given me a white box?"

"No, you have to open the box as well." She urged.

Naraku stared at her for a few seconds pondering over the complexities of this gift giving. Why put something in a box then cover that box with something else; it made no sense. He pulled the lid off the box and just stared at the contents before looking back at the miko. "You have given this to me? Why?"

Kagome stepped closer to him and peered inside the box like it was the first time she had ever laid her eyes upon the contents. "Well when I was shopping for my friends and family I saw this and it reminded me of you. I just couldn't help myself I had to get it for you even though you're my enemy." She whispered the last part as she looked down at the ground like the knowledge that they were enemies was the most heartbreaking thing in the world to her.

He watched her and somehow felt as if she was hurt by the fact that they were enemies. However before he could voice any thoughts on the subject she looked up at him and smiled hugely.

"So do you like it?" She asked eyes wide and hopeful with a hint a fear. The fear wasn't for him but for the fact that he may not like what she had given him.

He looked down at the black silk haori with the blood red spider embroidered on the back then back up at her. Yes he did like it but couldn't imagine why she would get anything for him. Her excuse was reasonable but not entirely believable. "You wish to hold me in your debt."

"No," she shook her head. "not at all. It's just a gift for Christmas no strings attached. I don't expect this to change anything. We will still be enemies once we part ways from this spot." She stared up at him for a quiet moment. "I just hope that this simple act will bring you some kind of happiness no matter how small." She smiled up at him warmly. "Merry Christmas Naraku." She nodded just above a whisper then turned to leave.

Naraku looked down at the garment then up at her retreating form. "Kagome."

Kagome stopped and looked over her shoulder at him. "Yes?"

He slightly bowed his head to her. "Thank you."

Kagome smiled at him. "You're welcome." Then she stepped through the trees and disappeared from sight.

Naraku moved his eyes from where she disappeared down to the haori and had to wonder at both their sanities before he too left the area.

~ 6 Days Later ~

Naraku stood in the clearing waiting once again the girl had sent word for him to meet her and for some unknown reason he agreed to meet her. Why did she want to meet with him again? Was she up to something underhanded trying to trick him so that hanyou would have an advantage? He glanced up to the dark sky then down at the being that stepped through the trees. "You have once again called me to meet you."

Kagome smiled at him and gave a small nod. "I have."

"What is it you desire this time?" He was getting very suspicious of the girl.

She walked up to stand in front of him looking him over. "It fits you nicely." She said as she circled him eyeing the red spider on the back of the haori.

"Hai." He answered as he watched her circle him keeping his guard up.

"And it looks good on you." She smiled as she came around to face him.

He nodded then looked pointedly at her. "Now you will tell me why you have called me to you."

"Well I thought you would want someone to spend the New Year with. I know your children aren't as real children are supposed to be since one wants you dead and the other," she furrowed her brows. "I mean how much personality can a void child have?" She shook her head sadly. "No one should be alone on New Years."

Red eyes watched the girl's sadness play across her face before her features settled into her normal façade. "What do you do on New Years?"

Kagome looked up at him and smiled. "Well at midnight you welcome the New Year with your resolutions for the coming year."

"And what kind of resolutions are those?" This girl was becoming stranger by they day. Perhaps trying to steal her soul had altered her mind somehow and was causing her to take ridiculous risks in her life such as wanting to meet with him. Did she not know he could kill her with a single swipe of his hand?

She tapped her chin with her finger in thought for a moment. "It really depends on who you are. Some people vow to diet, some to find a good job, and others to find love."

Naraku snorted at that. "And what are yours?"

"Well, mine are," she smiled at him. "to not fight with my little brother so much, to graduate high school, and to get into a good college." She tilted her head to the side. "The problem with resolutions is sticking to them and doing what you promise yourself your going to do." She laughed lightly. "I seriously doubt I will stick to mine." Her smile fell from her lips. "I don't think I'm going to be able to stick to mine."

He narrowed his eyes upon her watching as her emotions so quickly changed. "Why?"

She waved her hand in the air. "Well you know." She smiled almost bitterly. "Inuyasha, the shikon no tama and…" She trailed off and stared at him.

"Me." He finished for her.

"Hai. You."

Again her voice held a sadness to it when she spoke of them being enemies. What he didn't understand was why and why he indulged her in these little meetings of hers. "It bothers you that we are enemies." He pointed out and partly wanting an explanation for her reason and another part not caring why.

"Sometimes." She sighed then shook her head. "Enough about that. So what are your resolutions?"

He opened his mouth to answer but she stopped him with a hand held up in front of her.

"Never mind." She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. "I already know and I'd rather not hear it if that's okay with you."

Naraku stared at her in silent contemplation for several long minutes before he heard a strange beeping coming from the girl.

"Oh it's time." She chirped happily.

"For what?" He went on the defense thinking that this was some kind of ambush.

"It's midnight the time of the New Year has begun." She smiled up at him.

His crimson locked with her deep blue. "This is all you do for New Years stand around until the middle of the night?" He was rather annoyed with the whole situation. What kind of fool celebrated the middle of the night to make empty promises to themselves?

"Not really." She looked up at the dark sky watching the flickering lights of the stars. "There is another tradition but I don't think we should act upon it since we are" she kept her eyes locked on vast dark sky as she waved her hand in the air. "you know."

"Beings consummate on the New Year?" That was the only thing he could think of that beings would do to on this day and it seemed rather far fetched. Again whoever came up with this ridiculous holiday was clearly mad in the head.

"No." She answered with a small giggle. "They share a New Years kiss. They believe it will bring them happiness and love in the coming year." She brought her eyes down and locked them with his. "I don't think it's true though. You make your own happiness through your actions and love." She sighed like the word itself was ripping her heart out. "Love is pain."

He watched her go through all these emotions over a silly little day or in this case night and had to scoff inwardly at her. This is why she would fail against him her emotions played too big a part in her life clouding her better judgment. Which was clear based on the fact she kept waning to meet with him. Then again what was that saying about himself who came when she called? Curiosity that's the only reason he was here for surely she had to have gone mad wanting to meet him and meet him alone.

"Well Happy New Years Naraku." She chirped then turned and vanished in the darkness of the night forest.

He snorted then left the area heading back to his hidden castle to plot the girl's downfall along with that of her friends. He determined it would be an easy feat especially if her companions were acting so abnormally as well.

~45 Days Later~

Of all the days to want to meet him this was by far the dumbest. On this day you are supposed to be with the one you love sharing secret kisses in a field of flowers, feeding each other chocolate covered fruit, holding hands while sitting under the stars. Yet the one she loved was out gallivanting across Japan with that dead thing. So why not spend the most romantic day of the year with your enemy it makes perfect sense. Perfect sense to a baka that doesn't know any better.

Yep that was her a baka for wanting to spend Valentines Day with Naraku. She'd probably have better luck with Sesshoumaru. Not that she was seeking any kind of relationship with her enemy or anything like that but a nice smile or the smallest of kind gestures would please her to no end.

What she couldn't understand about herself was why she kept meeting with him and why he hasn't tried to kill her yet. She has met with him twice before and both times she had the shikon shards hanging around her neck yet he didn't try to take them. Perhaps under all that dark evil he was an honorable being. Then again it was possible that she just had him so shocked with her behavior that he didn't know what to do with her and forgot that she had the shards. No she highly doubted that that was the case since Naraku never seemed to miss a thing.

"Three times you have sent for me and three times I have come. Why do you continually seek me out?"

His deep rich voice rolled up her spine in a way no voice had ever done before. It was like thick warm honey rolling over her flesh. "Funny thing about that." She giggled nervously as she turned to face him. "I was just asking myself the same question and wondering why you even bother to come."

Truthfully he couldn't answer her any more than she could answer him. "Perhaps I seek to destroy you when you believe me to be your friend."

Kagome shook her head. "No that is not who you are. If you wanted to kill me you would have done it the first time we met."

Naraku smirked evilly at her. "Perhaps I am just toying with you and once I grow bored I will destroy you."

Kagome tilted her head to the side and stared at him with eyes slightly widened. "Have you grown bored with me?"

"If you walk away from this meeting you will know your answer." He nodded curtly at her.

She smiled up at him. "Well we shall see what happens then won't we."

"Hai." He moved to sit under a large tree. "Now you will explain why you requested my presence this time."

Kagome grabbed her bag and moved to sit in front of him with her legs folded under her. "Happy Valentines Day." She smiled, pulled shoe box sized red box out of her bag, and handed it to him.

Naraku took the box from her hands and stared at it. "You have gifted me once again. Why?"

"I don't know." She shrugged. "I guess I'm just that kind of person." She smiled charmingly at him.

She wasn't going to deny that Naraku was a very attractive once you wiped away most of the evil. If he were like he is now all the time, decent, calm, engaging, and still held a little bit of darkness about him she would want to spend a lot more time with him. Then there was the physical aspect of him broad shoulders, flat stomach and hard chest which she was sure was covered in rippling muscles. His powerful arms, legs, and his sharp perfect face which was only made more perfect by the color of his eyes. Which was odd seeing as how they were a deep dark blood red. "Just open it." She smiled.

Naraku pulled the lid off the box and found an assortment of items. "What is it?" He questioned as he looked over the contents and found only a few things that were recognizable to him.

Kagome rolled up onto her knees and peered into the box and started pointing things out. "Well those are chocolate covered cherries, little candy message hearts, a few paper ribbons for you hair, a Valentines Day card from me, and that last little box is something special just for you."

Chocolate he understood, cherries he understood, paper ribbons he understood, but what in all levels of hell was a candy message heart and a Valentines Day card? He plucked the little bag of candy hearts from the box and held them in front of his face to get a better look at them. As he eyed the strange candy he noted that they were all in the shape of little hearts and they did indeed contain messages in red lettering. Be mine, I luv U, Sweetheart, and Kiss Me, were a few of the messages that he spotted and in that order. Was she saying that she wanted him to be hers because she loved him? And what was a Sweetheart? Then the final one was she hoping he would kiss her? Is this why she wanted to meet with him all the time? Was she really attracted to him? Again he was sure she had gone mad in the head.

Kagome looked up at him and smiled she could tell that he didn't understand most of the stuff in the box so she decided to explain. "These are chocolates with cherries hidden inside." She pointed at the red cellophane package tied with red ribbon sitting in the box. "These are candy that you eat sweet like chocolate but not creamy like it." She pointed to the cellophane package in his hand. "The messages on them are just little messages that are nice things to say on this day or any other for that matter." She ran her finger over the ribbons. "You already know what these are and this," she plucked out the red envelope. "is a card. You give it to someone as a nice gesture, they open it, and read what it says."

He set the candies he had in his hand down and plucked the envelope from her hand. On the front was his name beautifully written in Kanji with some strange blue ink. He opened the card and stared at the front. It was white with red flowers and hearts dotted around the edge with big letters in the center that said Happy Valentines Day. He flipped the card open and read the contents. Hope your day is filled with love and joy. Underneath the words was once again that same strange blue ink. I hope someday we can be friends. Kagome

Crimson eyes moved from the card to the girl. "You desire to be my friend?"

Kagome stared back at him and nodded. "It would be a nice change from the constant I want to kill you thing between us."

Naraku snorted and dropped the card back into the box. His eyes then went to the little white box on the bottom. He plucked it out and stared at it for a moment before realizing this was like the Christmas gift she gave him. He opened the box and of course there was another box inside. Upon opening the smaller box his eyes shot up to meet hers which were still staring at the small box in his hand.

"Do you like it?" She whispered and rolled her eyes up to meet his.

His crimson moved back to the contents of the small box. "Hai. He nodded and watched as she removed the gold chain and held it out to him.

"Here let me put it on you." She began to lean in to do just that but his large hand caught her wrist.

"It is a trick." He growled lowly. "Do not think that it has escaped my attention that you can control your worthless hanyou with a single word spoken from your lips."

Kagome shook her head and smiled at him. "This is not that kind of necklace. If it were you would feel the magic coming from it." She pulled her wrist from his grasp. "Besides I don't know how to make those kinds of necklaces Kaede made it for Inuyasha."

Her blues held no lies he could see nor could he feel any magic coming from the necklace. "This better not be a trick girl." He glared at her. "Or you will die today."

"I swear," she locked stares with him. "no tricks."

He stared at her for a moment longer before nodding his head to allow her to place the necklace on him. He felt her small hands slide around his neck, her fingers fidget behind him gently grazing his flesh, before she pulled away leaving the necklace dangling around his neck.

"Perfect." She beamed at him as she sat back on her heels.

He gave her a nod of thanks albeit a small one causing her to smile hugely back at him. "You will explain to me why you continue to present me with gifs and expect nothing in return." He ordered as he set the box with all the candies and whatnot down next to him.

Kagome sat back on her bottom, pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around her legs, and rested her chin on her knees. "That's a good question." She smiled stupidly at him. "Truthfully I only intended on giving you the haori," she nodded at the item he was wearing. "for Christmas and that was it. Then New Years rolled around and something compelled me to want to spend it with you. So I invited you to come to me and was pretty certain that you wouldn't seeing as how we are enemies and all."

Again he could hear the twinge of sadness in her voice when she spoke of them being enemies. "Why does it bother you so much that we are enemies?"

Kagome sighed deeply. "Well," another deep sigh escaped her lips as she locked stares with him. "I guess it's just in my nature to want to be friends with everyone. When I feel hate towards someone it makes my heart hurt and all I can think is that it's my fault that hate is held between us."

Naraku eyed her for a moment more certain now than ever that she was indeed mad in the head. "Hate is as natural as happiness. One can not survive without the other." He picked up the box she had given him and rose to his feet. "The hate that is shared between us is no more your fault than it is the fault of the mindless demons that reside within me." He gave her one last glance before turning and leaving the area. "The burden of hate is mine to carry." He pointed out coldly before he disappeared from the area completely.

Kagome set her chin upon her knees. "Iie." She whispered. "Hate is a burden we all carry. Some just like to bare the burden more than others." She looked to where he just so recently was sitting. "There is good within you somewhere I just know it or I wouldn't still be sitting here." She smiled lightly.

~57 Days Later~

Naraku stood hidden in the shadows of the trees surrounding the open field of spring flowers before him. The new life of spring sickened him as a being of darkness, death, and destruction this season went against his very existence. Yet for as much as he despised this time of the year he stayed his ground waiting.

His sharp eyes easily caught movement just inside the trees on the other side of the field. He stayed hidden as he watched the miko come out of the forest and smirked lightly when she stumbled over a tree root then gave the innocent root a nasty glare like it tripped her on purpose.

As much as she was his enemy he did have to admit that beyond that she was a rather entertaining and engaging creature. For that matter were the circumstances between them different they would most likely be friends. Yet things were as they were he the dark scourge of the lands seeking to control the shikon no tama, she the pure mistress of said jewel. They were night and day, soft and hard, warm and cold opposites in every way.

Kagome worked her way across the field of newly blossomed flowers making her way to the being hiding in the trees. As she came up the small hill he stepped out of the shadows and stared down at her. "Hi." She beamed up at him.

"Four times you request me and four times I have answered. Tell me miko what are you attempting to gain from these meetings?"

Kagome shrugged her shoulders lightly. "Hope."

A dark brow arched. "Hope? Hope for what?"

"For change." She answered nonchalantly and before he could respond she held a large pastel blue basket, wrapped in cellophane, and filled with all kinds of goodies out to him. "Happy Easter." She smiled hugely.

Naraku looked at the strange looking thing in her hands. He quickly figured that this was another one of her strange holidays and he had a feeling that she was going to contact him for each and every one from this point on. She was a very strange yet stupid girl. "What is this Easter?"

"Well it's a rather strange holiday." She set the large basket down in front of him and continued. "The day before you are supposed to color eggs and during the night the Easter Bunny comes into your house, hides the eggs, and leaves you a basket of stuff. Like that one." She pointed to the basket on the ground in front of him. "Then in the morning you get up and search the house for the colored eggs."

He had heard some bizarre things in his life but this was by far the strangest. "Miko this Easter you speak of makes no sense. Why would you allow some lowly creature such as an usagi youkai into your home to hide eggs for you to have to search for and leave behind gifts? What is the reasoning for such an occurrence?"

"Ya know hearing it that way does make it sound rather ridiculous but it's done in all good fun. There is no rabbit youkai breaking into anyone's house to hide eggs and leave gifts behind." She shook her head and giggled at the thought. "Truthfully it's the parents of the children hiding the eggs and leaving Easter baskets for them."

"It is an absurd holiday and teaches children to be far to trusting of things adults say."

Kagome tilted her head up to look up at him. "I suppose but then again maybe it's just something parents to for their kids to show them that they love them. A way to give them happiness and instill family togetherness."

"Miko you live in a world of bliss and ignorance. Happiness is a wasted emotion that brings nothing but disappointment later." He pointed out knowingly.

Kagome just stared at him with brows drawn deeply for a moment before responding to that. "Is that what made you what you are? The disappointment of happiness?"

He smirked at her. "Iie miko what made me was the greed of a human that desired another and would do anything to fulfill the tainted lust he had for his healer."

"So you have never felt true happiness then?" She stared up at him sadly.

His smirk remained on his lips as he answered. "Oh hai. I feel happiness when my enemies are suffering at my hands or when I gain another shard to the jewel bringing me closer to my goal."

Kagome stared up into his deep crimson a deep sad frown upon her lips. "I guess what makes one happy can make another hurt right here." She held her hand up to her chest over her heart. "I'm sorry." She whispered to him as a single tear escaped the corner of her eye.

Naraku narrowed his eyes upon her not liking for one second how she was suddenly behaving. She knew who and what he was so it should be no surprise to her that he would find happiness in his actions.

"Happy Easter Naraku." She whispered sadly before she took off running across the field back the way she came.

He just stood there watching her go and could practically taste her pain upon his lips and it was far to bitter for his tastes. Seeing her pain should have pleased him yet it didn't and he did not like it one bit. They were getting far too comfortable with each other and it had to end and end now.

He collected the large basket sitting on the ground and vanished into the forest heading for his hidden castle. Yes the next time she called for him he would come and then he would destroy her as he vowed to do so long ago.

~70 Days Later~

Naraku sat in his dark miasma covered castle staring out the window at nothing in particular. It had been well over two moon cycles since he saw the miko last and part of him missed her. Well he squashed that part of him like an annoying insect.

The Easter basket she had given him held within it more of her strange candies and one object that he despised yet couldn't bring himself to throw away. He glanced over at the small painting and narrowed his eyes upon it. Seeing her and him sitting together like it was a common occurrence sickened him. He despised what she was reflecting in the small portrait and still he had no real desire to get rid of it so he kept it.

"Naraku." Kagura said from the doorway while trying to bite back the venom in her voice for her hated master.

"What is it Kagura?" He questioned with a hard edge to his voice. Truly he should kill the wind bitch since more often than not she was always interfering with his plans.

She held out a single red rose with a card attached to the stem by white ribbon. "I was told to deliver this to you." She set the rose on the floor then quickly left the room. She could feel Naraku's agitation flowing from his body in waves and usually when he felt that way she was the one to suffer.

Naraku looked over at the blood red flower and knew instantly who it was from. He pressed his lips together into a small firm line, released a small tentacle from his body, and collected the flower.

Once he had the latest gift from the miko in his hand he plucked the card from the stem and read the contents.

Naraku,

I know that your children don't care about you and probably wish death upon your head. So in their stead I celebrate who you are to them.

Happy Father's Day!

Kagome

Father's Day? What kind of ridiculous holiday was that? Moreover why didn't she request to meet him to celebrate this Father's Day? Not that he would have necessarily gone but after meeting her the last four times it kind of felt as if he should be meeting her today.

He nearly cringed at that line of thinking before he crumpled the card in his hand and flung it and the rose across the room. He was being a baka for caring about meeting up with his enemy to celebrate these silly holidays she was clearly making up. He needed to get back on track and think of a way to destroy her and her companions and complete the shikon no tama.

Yet as he attempted to think of how to destroy the inutachi his crimsons continually glanced back and forth between the rose and the portrait. With a small annoyed sigh he rose to his feet, collected the sweet smelling flower, and laid it gently on the floor in front of the picture of them together. He then took his seat back against the wall by the window to continue his planning and plotting.

~89 Days Later~

Naraku was on edge and he didn't know why. He felt restless, angry, and much more broody than usual. Usually torturing Kagura would appease his agitation but this time it wasn't working actually it was making his foul mood even worse.

He stormed around his castle trying to pin point exactly what was wrong with him and could come up with no logical reason for feeling so out of control. "Kanna." He bellowed from his study.

Pacing he waited patiently for the void child to come to him and within a few scant seconds his patience came to a quick end. The child should have been right there the moment her name left his lips and yet she was no where to be seen.

"Kagura where is Kanna?" He growled using his telepathic connection with the wind sorceress.

"She is here master Naraku."

His eyes narrowed to deadly little slits as he ground his teeth together. "Where is here?" He bit back in response and for good measure he gave a tight squeeze to her heart. The sound of her screaming in pain only did not ease his irritability at all. "Now answer me." He demanded.

"We are monitoring the Lord of the West as you requested us to do." She answered breathlessly.

He pressed his lips together tightly. She was right he did order them to monitor Sesshoumaru and his movements. Why would he not remember that?

He growled inwardly to himself when his eyes landed on the portrait sitting on the floor with a dead rose in front of it. Walking over to the picture he plucked it up and stared at it. That was it it was her that was causing his cutting agitation. How long had it been since he last saw her or heard from her?

Sure he had crossed paths with her little group in the last few months but she was always absent from these meetings. Granted it was only twice he had made an appearance before them but for her to not be there either time was highly unusual. Was she not the center of the group always with them keeping them together? Why was she not with them?

Why was he caring whether he saw her or not? She was his enemy, someone he was determined to destroy, a being that was his opposite in every way. She should not matter and the fact that he was wasting his time pondering her only served to piss him off further.

With a hiss of annoyance he flung the painting against the wall shattering the simple wooden frame it sat in. He felt a small amount of satisfaction from watching it hit the wall and break but that pleasure quickly died within him leaving him feeling more empty than usual inside.

He walked over to the painting lying on the floor, picked it up, and stared at it. What was wrong with him? Why was he caring about her and not seeing her for so long? He was losing his iron tight grip on his sanity he was sure of it.

~43 Days Later~

Naraku looked up at the position of the sun in the sky hovering just above the western mountains and ground his teeth together. She was late or he was extremely early to which the latter was the case. It had been so long since he last saw her and after some simple calculating he determined it had been 173 days since they last met face to face and 103 since he heard from her last. Granted in his life a hundred days was not but a blink of the eye yet it still felt like an eternity since he last spent time with her.

There was no fathomable reason why he should care about her and yet he couldn't keep from thinking about her. Plus all the things she had done for him just because and without asking for anything in return. No begging for her friends lives, no demanding that he hand over his portion of the jewel, no expectations on his part. She expected nothing but hope that he would find just a small amount of happiness from what she was doing for him. What was even more shocking than all of that was that he expected her to continue to do the things she was doing for him.

It wasn't because of the gifts she granted him since most of them he didn't understand what purpose they serve. No, it had a deeper reasoning and one he did not want to explore for he was sure he would not like what it revealed about himself. Something inside him was changing and it was all because of his sworn enemy who was far too kind for her own good a reckless thing to be when it came to dealing with the likes of him.

"Naraku?"

He turned around at the sound of her soft voice a voice he hadn't heard in so long. Yet when he came face to face with her it wasn't the miko he remembered. It sounded like her but she definitely didn't look like the miko he knew so well. "A spell has been cast upon you." He pointed out like she was unaware of her appearance.

Kagome smiled at him. "Iie it's just a Halloween costume." She turned a circle for him. "So what do you think?"

He eyed the clothing she was wearing which consisted of a tight white top that conformed to each one of her curves nicely and a sheer white lace wrapped around her waist. It hung at different lengths down to her knees and had a strange sheen to it. Her legs were also covered in a strange tight white hakama and white boots with long points on the back adorned her feet. How did she manage to walk with such strange heeled shoes? He moved his eyes up her body and spotted two white wings that would flutter in the breeze and glisten in the rays of the sun.

He moved his eyes from her back to her face which was also white with sharp black lines around her eyes and matching black lips. She also had little specks of things that sparkled starting at her right brow and ended just under her right eye. Her hair was billowed out around her wildly and somehow she had managed to streak white. It too had the sparkles in it along with a few white flowers. Truthfully she looked stunningly beautiful like a dead bride risen to return to her true love. "Explain." He demanded wanting to know what this was all about and why she looked as she did.

Her black lips pulled into a large grin. "I'm a snow fairy." Her eyes sparkled as he practically scowled at her. "Halloween is a time of year when you dress up as something and go from house to house saying trick or treat. The people give you candy so that you won't play a trick on them."

"People gift you so that you won't commit acts of trickery upon them and you dress up to hide your true appearances so that you can trick them anyway." What a strange holiday this was and one he could fully enjoy. He loved trickery and doing under handed things to others.

"No," Kagome said with a shake of her head. "if the people give you a gift you can't trick them. That's why they give you candy so you won't trick them."

"Where is the fun in that? You threaten to trick them if they don't give you candy so what would be better then getting your candy and tricking them anyway?" It was logic that made perfect sense since that is what he would do. Hell he wouldn't even bother with asking for the gift he'd just go straight to the trickery to hear the people cry for mercy.

Kagome just stared up at him blankly. Yes she knew that trickery was what he lived for since that's who he was or more importantly is. "I suppose but it's not very nice to trick someone."

"Miko; I am not nice." He pointed out like she should already know this.

"Hmm… well not always anyway." She said with a nod.

They stared each other down for a moment before she lightly shook her head and held out an orange bag to him. "Happy Halloween." She grinned hugely.

Another gift just for him and not a hint of a request for one in return. He took the orange bag and peered inside and of course there were more of her strange candies inside. He was beginning to think that these holiday things were centered around all this candy stuff. Much too sweet for his tastes. Perhaps she was trying to fatten him up so that it would be easier for her hanyou companion to take him down. No that wasn't something she would do she was just trying to share with him what made her happy.

"Well I have to get back. I promised my brother that I would take him trick or treating." She smiled her most charming smile at him. "I hope you like your Halloween gift." She nodded at the bag in his hands then turned and began to leave.

"Miko."

Kagome turned to face him when he called her. "Yes?"

They just stared at each other for a silent moment before she gave him a small nod and left.

Naraku narrowed his eyes upon the spot she was last standing in. What in seven hells was wrong with him? He should want to kill her and yet the desire to bring her harm sickened him to no end. Was she casting a spell on him by feeding him these candies of hers? He couldn't stand to see her go but by damn he wanted her gone. It was maddening.

He looked down at the bag in his hand and once again peered inside. Lots of candy, another one of her cards, and a small white box. Reaching in he plucked the box out and opened it only to once again find another box inside. He had to wonder why she felt the need to put one box inside another box what was the purpose?

Dismissing the box inside a box issue he opened the smaller box and inside was a small gold circular charm. He removed the small charm from the box and held it up close to his eyes. Carved into the metal with silver kanji were the words 'Friends Forever'. Did she truly believe them to be friends? His sharp eye then caught sight of the small clasp on the side and with a push of his finger the charm popped open.

Looking inside was a strangely polished picture of her on one side and him on the other. Where did she acquire such a strange painting and one that was so realistic? It was like she captured him and locked him away inside the charm.

He flipped it closed and pulled the card out of the orange bag. He didn't bother to read the greeting on the front just opened it and searched out her writing.

Dear Naraku,

I hope you like the charm. It just a little token of friendship in hopes that you will always remember me and never forget the few short moments we spent together.

Your friend,

Kagome

Did this mean that he was never going to see her again? Suddenly a dark rage built up within him at the thought. She was abandoning him like so many others have. Sure he was an evil being hell bent on death and destruction but did he not deserve the respect and love from just one being in the world?

He growled deadly at the line his thought process was taking. He was an outcast, a recluse, a solitary creature, he wanted from none and needed no one. If a lowly miko his ultimate enemy was abandoning him then who was he to care. This is the way things should be and should have always been.

Yet he inside he felt hollow like a vast emptiness had taken up residence within his chest. She was gone and things would now return to the way they once were but somehow that left him feeling angry with her and himself.

~19 Days Later~

He couldn't believe it she wanted to see him again. So many days he had fumed about her casting him away and had plotted the many ways he was going to destroy her for it. He was going to show her exactly who and what he was and yet before he could leave in order to hunt her down and torture her until death took her; she sent word that she wanted to meet with him.

He wasted no time in taking to the sky to the designated meeting place. He had to see her so he could... what? Why did he care so much and why was seeing her again so damn important? She offered nothing to him and really she was just and easy means to gaining jewel shards. However something inside him wanted to see her worse than that blasted human heart ever wanted to see Kikyo. There was no way he could ignore the call it felt too strong, too demanding.

Kagome paced the clearing waiting for him to come. She didn't have a lot of time, Inuyasha was due to return to her time and bring her back. It wouldn't do any good for him to go get her and her not be there but here. "Damn Naraku; where are you?" She growled just under her breath.

"Right behind you miko."

Kagome spun around at the sound of his deep voice and grinned hugely at him. "Finally." She sighed in relief.

"You were worried that I wouldn't come?" He questioned with an arched brow.

"Sort of." She pulled a large box from her bag and handed it to him. "I don't have much time so here Happy Birthday."

Naraku took the large box that was covered in white paper with many colorful dots all over it. "Birthday, it is not my birthday."

Kagome looked pointedly at him. "Okay then when is your birthday?"

He just stared at her not knowing any more than she did.

"See you don't know when it is either so I picked a day for you. November 19 is your birthday from now on." She nodded up at him with a smile.

He arched a brow and smirked at her. "And pray tell why this day and not another?"

Kagome crossed her arms over her chest. "Well for some odd reason you look like a November 19th kind of guy and secondly that would make you a Scorpio."

"Iie miko I am not a scorpion."

Kagome giggled. "No I don't mean an actual scorpion; I mean your birth sign based on the stars." She watched as his brows drew down not fully understanding and elaborated before he could question her. "During various times of the year certain clusters of stars are in the sky. Right now during the night Scorpio is the cluster of stars hovering above us. Each cluster has a different meaning to them in which a person born under these stars will carry certain personality traits." She waved her hand towards him. "They say that Scorpios are intense, intuitive, complex, determined souls, and they give their path in life their all. They are a combination of straight-shooting directness, laser beam mental focus, and critical assessment." She gave him a facetious smirk. "Sounds just like you don't ya think?"

Naraku snorted but had to agree. "You will tell me more about this scorpion in the sky and where you acquired such knowledge."

Kagome fidgeted nervously. "I can't, I don't have much time. I have to get back home before Inuyasha finds me gone and starts tearing up my house searching for me."

He did not like that at all. "The hanyou can wait." He ordered fully expecting her to comply.

She shook her raven haired head. "No he won't. Inuyasha is impatient, loud, and grouchy when things aren't done they way he wants them to be done. I find it just easier to go along rather than arguing him and then sitting him to hell where he sometimes belongs." She moved to stand directly in front of him. "But don't worry you will see me again soon. The one year anniversary of our first meeting is coming." She then got up on her toes and planted a quick kiss on his cheek. "Happy Birthday Naraku." She whispered before taking off running into the forest.

Naraku placed his hand to his cheek as he watched her go. That was the first kiss he had ever received since his creation and it came from his enemy. It was strange but it made him feel good. A small genuine smile pulled on his lips at the warm feeling before looking down at the box dangling in his other hand.

Lifting it up and being used to this unwrapping of gifts thing he rid the large box of its colorful paper and pulled the lid off. It was another haori similar to the one she had given him almost a year ago. Yet his one was a deep midnight blue with deep purple designs stitched on the sleeves and his name on the front in the same stitching.

He ran his thumb across his name and smiled in spite of himself. Perhaps it was time to return the favor by gifting her in return. Yes that's exactly what he would do. He would give her something that would make her smile that smile that sickened him and pleased him all at the same time. Something no other being in the world would be able to give her or have the resources to acquire. He would make her feel the way she made him feel.

~36 Days Later~

The sun was just touching the horizon, the air was growing colder, and Kagome sighed a deep sad sigh. Three hours she had been there waiting for him and he was no where to be seen. "I guess I should just go home." She whispered to herself.

"Why would you do that?"

Kagome turned to face the dark kumo in wide eyed shock. "Naraku!" She gasped as she placed her hand to her chest. "You scared me."

He virtually ignored her words. "You were going to leave. Why?"

She gathered herself back together and stared down at her feet. "I didn't think you were going to come."

Yes he knew he was late and he was angry with himself for it but he had to take care of a few things before he could come to meet her. "Hai I'm late but it was for a reason."

Kagome looked up at him. "Oh." She responded sure that he was committing some dark evil deed that kept him from making it to her on time.

Naraku had a pretty good idea as to where her line of thinking was going and she wasn't too far off. "I'm here now."

Kagome giggled at that as it was obvious he was indeed there. "Yes you are." She picked up the long box she had leaning against her leg and moved to stand in front of him. "Merry Christmas." She smiled up at him as she held the long unwrapped box out to him.

He took the box from her and held it in both his hands long ways in front of him. "It is not wrapped." He pointed out kind of disappointed that it wasn't covered in the that strange paper she seemed to favor.

"No it's too big to wrap." She roved her eyes over the length of the box then looked up into his crimson eyes. "Hope you like it." She then reached over the box, flipped the two latches open, and lifted the lid.

Naraku's eyes widened noticeably before he locked them with her deep blues. "Why?"

Kagome smiled hugely. "Well I noticed that everyone has one but you."

He looked down into the box roving his eyes over the long sword. It was so new and polished that he could see his reflection in the blade and that wasn't all he could see either. Etched into the silver blade near the top by the handle was beautifully written kanji.

'Each day brings something new to all of us. One day brought you to me. Love Kagome'

He looked up at her and could see a small blush playing across her cheeks.

"See it even has a sash so you can tie it around your waist." She pointed to the silver and white handle of the sword that had a long black silk sash wrapped around it tied neatly into a bow. "It has a sheath too to protect the blade." She ran her finger along the length of the black leather sheath lying next to the deadly sharp sword.

Of all the things she had given him this was by far the most valued of them all.

"So do you like it?" She questioned as she looked up at him shyly.

Did he like it? Yes yes he did like it. "Very much." He answered as he stared at her.

"Good," Kagome smiled. "I was worried that you wouldn't."

He set the box down, closed the lid, and turned to face her. "For one year you have granted me your kindness and gifts. Tell me miko did you gain that which you were searching for?"

Kagome stared at him and nodded. "Hai, I did."

He slowly stalked the three feet towards her until he was right in front of her hovering like a dark nightmare. "And tell me what is it that you gained."

"You experienced happiness." She smiled up at him.

"Is that all you ever wanted from me?" He questioned as he inched ever closer to her.

Kagome chewed her bottom lip nervously as he moved even closer to her. It felt as if he was taking up all of her personal space. "Hai, everyone needs a small amount of untainted happiness. I gave mine to you and you accepted it with no strings or expectations attached."

"Did I? Or perhaps I was just lulling you into a false sense of security waiting for that one moment when your defenses were weakened to strike you down."

She tilted her head back to look up at him as he drew even closer to her. "If that is the end result then that is the way it was meant to be. Yet I don't think that has been your intention. There have been many times when you could have killed me and you didn't and there have been many times when I could have purified you and I didn't."

She was right she could have killed him just as easily as he could have killed her yet neither of them ever attempted to do such a thing. He reached up and grabbed her by her by the shoulders causing her to squeak at the suddenness of his actions.

"A gift for a gift." He whispered in a low deep voice before pressing his lips to hers.

Kagome was dumb struck by his actions and could do nothing but feel his soft lips against hers as his tongue trailed along her bottom lip. It felt nice and nothing like what she imagined.

She once figured that kissing Naraku would be like kissing a steel pole in the middle of winter, hard and cold. Yet he was neither of those things he was soft, warm, and unbelievingly gentle. Slowly her senses came back to her and she fell into the feel of his body by leaning into him as his strong arms slid around her back and hers worked their way around his neck.

Naraku was no fool he had a plan for this miko and during the last month or so he was tying up loose ends and putting everything he needed into to place. He pulled her closer and tighter up against him so that she would be even more oblivious to what he was doing. He powered his tongue deep into her warm cavern stroking and caressing the appendage swirling against his own. Damn she tasted sweet and oh so warm.

A small tentacle slowly slinked out of his body and wrapped around the jar hanging from the thin chain around her neck. It easily snapped the chain and pulled the jar containing the last four shards to the nearly complete shikon no tama into his body. He slid the jar and mostly complete jewel down through his arm and into his hand that was pressed against her back.

Once he had the jar and the jewel in his hand he closed his fist around it shattering the small jar fusing the jewel with the last four remaining shards. With his eyes closed and tongue buried in her hot cavern he made his wish.

Kagome sighed inwardly in bliss. She had never been kissed like this before and she had to admit that it felt wonderful. Her stomach was twittering with butterflies and a tingly sensation echoed throughout her entire body it was warm and soothing. So warm in fact it began to feel like she was burning starting in the center of her back and spreading inward from there.

Naraku held her tight against him as she began to struggle against him. He broke the kiss and buried his face into her hair next to her ear. "Shhh… it will be over soon." He whispered as she began to struggle in earnest against him.

"Let me go!" She cried out as her eyes began to burn and fill with tears. "It burns so bad! What did you do to me?!" She struggled against him madly and attempted to pull her purification powers forth trying to break free of his hold upon her. It was for naught as her powers failed to come to the surface leaving her to suffer the intense heat burning inside her.

Naraku held her tight against him until she fell limp in his arms. He looked down at her unconscious serene face and smirked wickedly before gently laying her down onto the snow covered ground to help her body cool from the heat of her change. He gave a loving caress to her cheek before lifting a single lid to reveal a deep crimson eye much like his own.

Well that proved that half of his wish came true now for the other half. He rose to his feet, closed his eyes, and focused on his inner being. To his ultimate pleasure he was received with complete silence not a single demon screaming for release. He was whole, complete, a full blooded youkai.

He opened the box containing the sword that would soon conquer the lands and tied it to his waist. Once satisfied that it would stay in place and set just right he gathered up his little female and held her tightly and lovingly against his chest.

In one weeks time she would awaken when her and the new part of her being united as one. Then he would begin his conquest of the lands and even the world with his beloved queen at his side. She would give him the strength to become the one true ruler of the lands and bare him strong sons to carry on his legacy.

Yes in the beginning she would deny him and her position but with his strength and her love for him she would soon fall into line. The truth of her love for him within her heart would allow her no less. She was guided by her heart much like he was guided by Onigumo's tainted heart. However hers was pure pure as the first flakes of a winter's snow.

He placed a soft kiss upon her brow and smiled down at her. "Soon my love soon we will rule the world side by side for the rest of eternity." With that he rose to the air with his soon to be bride and headed for home. He had a world to conquer and a queen to stand at his side when he became the one true ruler of all he laid his fist upon.