A/N: Hokay, first try here. If this is received well, I'll upload the second half. We'll see how it goes.

I'm in love.

I know there are all sorts of stories about different kinds of love. Brotherly, lustful, avenged, obsessive, unrequited, unconditional, secret, forgotten, betrayed, love at first sight. True love.

I know that mine is one of those. The problem is I can tell which. And my love, unfortunately, gets me into an awful lot of trouble.

But it's wonderful being in love. It's like a warm glow that sits inside my chest, just above my heart. My own miniature sun. And every time I see him . . . oh . . . I can hardly breathe. When I see him, my heart flutters in my chest and that strange heat above my heart spreads across my entire body, making me tingle when he touches me. And sometimes, it seems like he's the only one in the world. He is my world.

He's wonderful. But he isn't perfect. He may be crass, rude, arrogant, impulsive and a bit dense, but he can also be sweet and noble and kind and shy. For the majority of his life he has been told that he's nothing, that he's a monster.

An abomination.

A freak.

An accident.

But he's not. He's beautiful and handsome and wonderful. And he doesn't listen to what they say. He's always moved forward. Even if it hurts him, he always moves forward.

And he's so brave. I never thought I'd hear myself spewing drivel like this, but here I am. You know that cliche phrase you always hear about 'beating unbeatable odds'? Well, he ends up doing that every single day, with both regular people and youkai. Anything they say to him is brushed away as if it were nothing.

His eyes look right through you, no matter what. And they're the color of melted butter. A clear, deep amber with lights shining in the back, flickering occasionally, little teasing glimpses of light. It's funny, his hair is longer than mine, and it's just like a dog's fur. Coarse, stiff hair on the outside; fine, soft hairs on the inside. And it's the color of the light that reflects across the top of the water in twilight and moonlight.

His ears are what intrigue me the most. They're so touchable. Delicate, triangular, shell-like appendages only a few shades lighter than his hair. They're mobile, twisting around to hear the slightest noise, always on the alert.

Oh, didn't I tell you?

He's a hanyou. Inu-hanyou to be exact.

A half-dog demon.

His hands are strong and gentle, his favorite color is red, and his favorite food is ramen. He's got the shortest fuse out of anyone I've ever know and it sends me back through the well to my time more often than I can count.

But I always come back to him.

I can't do otherwise.

Do you know that he asked me to stay with him? We had gotten ourselves into a load of danger and he gave me the choice to go home and be safe, or to stay and help him. I know which one he wanted me to choose. I've been around him so long, I know him better than anyone. I knew exactly what kind of things he was thinking. She's in danger if she stays with me. She'll get hurt. But I couldn't leave him. So I asked him, 'Will you let me stay?' And then he asked me to stay with him. He asked me. I could have shattered into a million pieces of light I was so happy.

So I stayed.

But I didn't realize how much it would hurt.

Every time I see him, I want to be near him. I watch him as he walks, as he talks to our friends, as he removes threats, when I fight with him. I'm always watching him. And I think to myself, I'm so lucky to be his friend.

Yeah just friends. Even though I'm in love with him, and everyone else can see it. Only he can't. Like I said, he's dense. Either that, or he does notice and doesn't want to hurt me by telling me he doesn't feel the same. I prefer to think that he's dense. And besides, he's got someone else that he loves. But, I tell myself, at least I can be close to him. I can be there for him when he needs me. I can be his best friend. I have, at least, a small piece of him, a tiny place inside his heart. I tell myself these things and it's almost enough.

Almost.

But not quite.

Every time I hear his voice, I want to run and throw myself into his arms.

But I can't. Because he doesn't feel the same. Because he wants someone else. And it would hurt so much more than it does now to have him reject me. Or worse, to pretend. That would break me.

They always say love is grand. It's the most wonderful thing in the world, everything's brighter, and even if things go wrong they always turn out right. That's what they say, but . . . if they're right, why does it hurt so much? Why does it feel like I don't have a heart any more when he goes to see her?

Love is only grand if the connection stretches two directions. Everything only goes right if there's someone leading you through it, or walking by your side. It's harder by yourself, much harder. And it keeps getting harder and harder to watch him go running to her when he hears her name, or she calls to him. And the thing that really hurts is that they look like they belong together. What am I saying? They do belong with each other! I come from five-hundred years in the future. I don't even physically exist yet! I don't even belong in this time.

Something that really worries me is that I'm her reincarnation. I'm like another version of something, from farther down the assembly. Something that's closer to being finished, but has extra things on it that aren't really needed, things that could have been done without. Am I me? Or am I her? I want to shout, I am Kagome! but I don't even know that for certain. We're eerily alike, both in looks, skills and . . . loves.

Besides, she died for him! What more concrete proof of love is there than that?

You knew you never had a chance. She's the best thing for him. She makes him happy. You want him to be happy. But even after telling myself things like this, I still have a lonely ache in my chest. I knew that I never had a chance the moment she came back and I realized I loved him.

And it hurts.

It hurts so much that I think I'll die. And every time he goes, it gets worse. I'm dying from the inside out. But, worst of all, he doesn't seem to notice, or even care. I should leave him. Get away from him. Try to find some way to help myself heal.

But I can't.

I can't leave him.

I can't leave him.

Why, you ask? Why would I stay with someone who will most likely never look at me as more that a close friend? Why stay with someone who breaks my heart every time he goes to see the one who has his heart? Why stay with someone that could kill me without knowing it, who has my body, heart, mind and soul in the palm of his hands? Who could let go, let me fall, without knowing the power he has over me? Who doesn't know that I would do almost anything he asked of me?

Because I love him.

So, as I sit, waiting for him to come back, praying for him to be safe, I cry a little. Sango,

Miroku, are Kirara are curled up on the other side of the fire. Miroku somehow managed to get himself curled around Sango and Kirara without notice. He'll probably get smacked in the morning for that. Shippou is sound asleep, snoring a little in the top of my sleeping bag against my stomach. But I stay awake, leaning against a convenient tree root facing the edges of the camp, waiting for him. Baka, I think to myself, it's useless to wait, why keep doing it?

Because, I answer, I'll always wait for him.

As I look up, I see a familiar red-clad figure trudging up the hill toward us. I sigh in relief and quickly and quietly lay down in my sleeping bag before he can notice that I'm awake. Breathing deeply and easily, I slow my heart beat down to put up the pretense of sleep. Shippou snuggles himself under my arm, making the whole scene look more convincing. I watch him from beneath my eyelashes. I watch him come into camp and glance at all of us, shaking his head, and then sit down to take watch. Then he pads over and crouches by me. I hear him sniffing and then a rustle of cloth as he settles down beside me to take watch for the night. I smile a little.

Inuyasha, I will always wait for you.