Kagome chatted excitedly to the silver haired young man sitting beside her. Said man only gazed back at her with a blank expression as he failed to look interested in what she had to say. Kagome's best friend, Rin, sat on her other side. Rin's mind wandered as she realised that she couldn't focus on Kagome's chatter. She caught Inuyasha's eye and grinned at him before looking out the window beside her across the massive expanse of what Inuyasha liked to call a "modest garden."

As she gazed out, she smiled to herself. Inuyasha and Kagome were so perfect for each other. To anyone who didn't know them, their constant arguments could be taken for a sign of dislike. Rin, however, knew better. She knew that Kagome cared for Inuyasha very much and Inuyasha, although he'd never admit it, was infatuated with Kagome.

Her smile fell a bit as she thought about how often they had to opportunity to confess to each other and yet all they did was to push the other away with seemingly harsh words. They would deny that they liked each other so violently that they would sometimes say the exact same thing simultaneously. Although they never took the time to realise what they said and would never pursue the reasons for the other saying the same thing.

"Are either of you listening to me?!" Kagome demanded in a shrill voice.

Inuyasha shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly while Rin stared at him. Kagome's temper was explosive and usually had very bad consequences. Inuyasha clearly didn't care much for his health at present. Shaking her head, she tried to placate the fuming girl beside her.

"Sumimasen Kagome," she said calmly.

Her friend shook her head. "Iie. It doesn't matter. We just need to sort the details out. We don't have much to do."

"Remind me why we're having this Christmas party at my house?!" Inuyasha demanded, his expression showing dissatisfaction.

"Your house is bigger," Kagome said in an impatient tone.

With a sigh, Inuyasha realised that he had to admit defeat because Kagome was right.

- - - - - - - - - -

The trio had been finished school for two years. Shortly after her graduation, Kagome's mother and grandfather moved to Sendai to be with family. Souta had followed a couple of months later, claiming that he didn't like living in Tokyo. Kagome was left alone to manage the shrine, which proved to be an extra source of income as well as her full time job in a florist nearby.

Inuyasha was lucky, however, he didn't seem to think so. His parents moved to Kyoto after his father was offered a job managing a popular firm there. He was allowed to stay in the same house as long as he promised to let his brother stay there as well. It was common knowledge that Inuyasha and his brother did not like each other, but Inuyasha shocked everyone by deciding to agree to his parents' request. His brother mainly worked abroad so he wouldn't spend much time in the house anyway.

Rin, was completely different from the other two. Being an orphan, she had no property or money to inherit from ay family members. At the age of 16, she started working part time. She saved all the money she earned and now, at the age of 20, she finally had her own home. Her hard earned savings had allowed her to buy a small house not far away from Kagome and Inuyasha. Its location was convenient. Her friends were nearby and the bakery where she worked was a 10 minute walk down the road.

- - - - - - - - - -

A week later, a grim faced Inuyasha sat before his friends in a restaurant near the town centre. He played with his napkin while the two girls talked about their day at work. Eventually, he decided to interrupt.

"Kagome, I've got some bad news for you."

Kagome immediately demanded to know what was wrong while Rin looked at him curiously over the rim of her coffee cup.

"We can't have this Christmas party at my house. My mother called me last night and apparently my brother's coming back for Christmas as well as the rest of the family." Inuyasha shrunk back in his seat awaiting the shouting he was sure would follow his announcement.

To his amazement, Kagome laughed. "That's okay Inuyasha. I've been meaning to tell you that my family are coming back from Sendai for Christmas as well."

Inuyasha breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at his friend. "It looks like we're all going to have a good Christmas this year then."

Feeling slightly awkward, Rin shifted in her seat as she tried to get her purse to pay for her coffee. Kagome's eyes widened as she remembered that her friend was sitting beside her. Reluctantly, she dragged her eyes away from Inuyasha.

"What's wrong, Rin?"

"Nothing. I'm just going to pay for my coffee. I should probably head home anyway," she said with a smile.

"Oh, okay," Kagome sounded disappointed. "We'll see you here tomorrow though won't we?"

Rin nodded. "Of course." With a final smile, she stood up and walked towards the front of the restaurant, leaving the pair alone.

- - - - - - - - - -

Rin sat in her living room reading her book when the phone rang. Still reading, she reached over the back of the sofa and fumbled around for the phone. After having located it, she picked it up.

"Hello?"

"Hey Rin, it's Inuyasha."

"Oh hello. What's the occasion Inuyasha? You never call me."

"Well..." he paused. "I actually wanted to talk to you about something."

Rin frowned. "What would that be?"

"Kagome."

"I see," she smiled.

"Hai. Do you think you could come over?"

"Now?"

"Please?"

She sighed. "Okay Inuyasha. I'll be there in about 5 minutes."

"Awesome. I'll meet you at the top of the street."

With a sigh, Rin stood up and put her book down before going to put her shoes on and heading out the door.

- - - - - - - - - -

"So what's the problem, Inuyasha?" Rin asked as they walked up the short street to his house.

"Well, I want to do something."

Rin was perplexed. "Do something?"

He nodded. "I'll tell you when we're inside," he said as he opened the front door. "I'd rather not anyone overhear this conversation."

As the pair walked inside, Rin's ears were assaulted by loud, but slightly muffled music coming from upstairs. She looked at Inuyasha with a curious expression.

He shook his head and ran his hand irritably through his hair. "Sesshoumaru came back while I was out earlier."

As soon as the words had left his mouth, the music became clear as the elder Taisho son opened his door and walked out onto the landing. He proceeded to walk down the stairs, not noticing either his brother or Rin, with an empty coffee mug clutched in his hand. His amber eyes rose from the stairs as he reached the bottom. Finally noticing his brother, Sesshoumaru stopped and looked at the pair before him, his expressionless face never changing.

Rin stepped back and waited for the inevitable argument. However, she couldn't help but think Sesshoumaru looked gorgeous as he stood there. His white dress shirt was travel creased and hung untucked over his black trousers. The sleeves were rolled up past his elbows and a tie hung limply around his neck. Silver hair was tied back roughly and his amber eyes stared at his brother, daring him to test his patience. Nothing happened. Neither brother said anything. The uncomfortable silence was broken only by the music that drifted down the stairs from Sesshoumaru's room.

"With blood on her hands

Into the sun she stares

She feels it die

I heard her cry

Like the scream of the butterfly."