Disclaimer: NO I do not own Inuyasha. That awesome privilege belongs to Romiko Takahashi. Thank you!

I know I know, don't nag. I have two other stories I should be writing but I just can't help myself.

Chapter 1: Hopeless

"Kira, honey get up." Kagome shook her daughter gently. Her eyes were soft and still a little sleepy. She was dressed in a suit, brown and appropriate with no flash or dazzle. Her hair was in a tight not at the back of her head, no stray wisps, perfect and professional. Her only piece of jewelry was a thin beaded child like bracelet around her wrist, hidden by the sleeves of her suit.

"I don't wanna get up." Kira complained burying her head in the pillow. She was five and as sweet as an angel. She looked just like her mother, jet black raven hair, milk chocolate eyes, and ivory skin like silk. The only part of her body that was her father's, was the shape of the eyes. More oval than Kagome's, but just right for her face.

"I know love, but it's time to get ready for school." Kagome said pushing the hair out of her face.

Kira's pretty innocent eyes opened and she hugged her little dolly with red yarn hair closer to her body. "Can we skip today?" she asked her face hopeful.

Kagome laughed gently. "Not today. Mommy has an important meeting, I have to lecture people today."

"The teacher letchers us." she said pronouncing the word wrong. "It's not much fun."

"I know." Kagome scratched her daughter's back affectionately. "How about tomorrow, we go to the zoo, huh? Mommy has the afternoon off, and so do you. What do you say?"

The excitement woke her daughter up quickly and she smiled with a front tooth missing. "Can we really?"

"Of course. But you have to go to school today." Kagome said with a big smile. Her daughter always made her happy, no matter how bad things seemed.

"Okay!" She agreed right away hopping out of her bed, the doll forgotten. Her room was full of pinks and whites. There was a small waist high bookshelf filled with her stuffed toys and another box with her other toys. Her closet door had a rack to put all her shoes, and all her clothes hung neat and tidy in her closet. Her floor was wooden except where Kagome had placed the thick pink rug that covered most of it.

"Breakfast is almost ready. Hurry up." Kagome said as Kira grabbed the outfit Kagome had put on the trunk at the foot of her bed and began to dress.

Kagome left her daughter's room and shut the door. She sighed as she left the peaceful and happy world her daughter lived in. Kira's room was the master bedroom, but it was the only one with a closet door and a vent that worked. Kagome's room had a hole in the floor, and half the time her light wouldn't work. Their whole house was like that. Run down, old, beat up, almost unlivable.

But Kagome always made damn sure Kira's room was her sanctuary.

No matter what it cost her.

Inuyasha scratched his stomach as he returned from the bathroom in his elegant mansion. The party had just wound down a few hours ago, and he had just fallen asleep. For once, without anyone else in his bed.

He wanted his solitude. For some reason, he didn't feel like company.

He climbed into his rich, decadent bed, and looked around his room. Posters showing his face, usually with his mouth open and next to a mike, or ones showing his entire band's faces, glared down at him. Each one baring the name, 'Hanyou', in red letters that melted like blood written on a wall.

Inuyasha was a rock singer, he loved every minute of it. The stages, the crowds, the groupies, the parties, especially the parties. The fame, the fortune, the babes, it was everything he had ever wanted out of life.

He sighed and placed his hands behind his head.

But lately, it hadn't been enough.

He hadn't taken any one to his bed in quite some time. No woman appealed to him any more, no matter how alluring or sexy. For some reason, his perfect life that he had wanted since childhood, no longer seemed so perfect.

He turned his head to the three pictures he always kept by his bed.

One was of his brother and his wife. Not for his brother, but his wife. Inuyasha adored Rin, she was so sweet and bubbly, annoyingly some times, but she was very easy to love. He just couldn't figure out why she loved Sesshomaru.

The other was a woman with long black hair and a secret smile, one that reminded him of the Mona Lisa. Happy, yet at the same time, unbearably sad.

Next to that photo was one of his parents locked in an embrace. His father pushing his mother's hair behind her ear in an act of love so simple yet so profound.

Maybe that's what he was missing. Inuyasha had many lovers, many dates, and many flings. He had only ever fallen in love once, and that had ended in tragedy. He thought he never wanted to again.

But as he looked at the picture of his parents sat next to her's, he thought maybe what he was missing was a woman's love.

His parent's had that. They were one of the few couples that didn't break up or fall apart and end in divorce.

And yet her picture was there to remind him that not all relationships were sunshine and daisies.


The one woman he had ever loved.

The one person who had ever betrayed him.

He reached over and put her picture face down on the night stand. He couldn't look at her as he fell asleep this morning.

He rolled over and pulled his blanket about his body tighter and closed his eyes.

But he could not fall asleep.

Kagome poured some cheep no name brand cereal into a bowl and added the milk that was about to go sour. There was only enough for one bowl and Kagome set it on the rickety table kept up with a phone book. It was scared and used, much like everything Kagome owned or rented.

"What's for breakfast?" Kira asked in her ever cheerful voice as she sat down.

"Cheerios." Kagome said putting a tea spoon of hard sugar on the cereal and stirring it up.

"Mmm." Kira said grabbing her spoon and shoveling a bite in her mouth. "Where's yours?" she asked her mouth still full.

"Don't talk while you chew." Kagome chastised gently straitening her daughters pink overalls and white shirt with flowers on it. "And I'm not that hungry." she told her with a smile.

She hadn't eaten in four days. She had only been able to scrape together the money for Kira to eat. She had a headache from stress and lack of food. Kagome was very skinny and bony. Not much by choice, but by the fact that she had to give most of her money to feeding Kira and there was never much left for anything else.

Today was payday and she would have just enough to take Kira to the zoo as she promised and still feed her until the next payday.

"Eat up." She said kissing her daughter temple.

She stood up as she heard the phone ring. Not a house phone. They didn't have one. The phone the people she worked for provided her with.

"Hello?" She said in a professional voice flipping it open. "Oh, hi Mr. Shinjuku." She said respectfully to her boss. She worked for a company that did advertisements for other companies. She didn't do the actual advertising, she was more of a grunt that was on call for any job they needed done.

And she never got payed well for it but she never had the money or the talent to get another higher paying position.

Kira got quiet and watched her mother with curious eyes, she knew not to talk while her mom was on the phone.

"No sir, not a problem at all." she said loyally.

"Yes, sir.....uh...." she opened her mouth to say bye but he had already hung up.

"What's up, mommy?" Kira asked.

"Mommy has to work late tonight." She said hating to have to leave her daughter alone again. But she couldn't afford a babysitter and she had no friends because she had no time for them. Kira was her world.

"That's okay." She said at once with her carefree smile. "I'll play by myself again. Food in the fridge, bed by 7." she rattled off the well known instructions.

Kagome smiled in relief but also in disappointment that she had to leave her alone at all. Some times she suspected that her daughter was a lot smarter than most people gave 5 year olds credit for being, as if she knew her mother had troubles and she was just trying to make it easier.

"Hurry up." Kagome said struggling to hold back tears that suddenly set on. "We can't be late for school." and she walked into their pathetic living room trying to hold back her strange tears.

She hated feeling so helpless and like she was a terrible mother to her child, but what choice did she have? It was the only way to keep their holey roof over their head.

Five minutes later they left the house, her tiny pink backpack old and dirty on her back, and Kagome's paperwork in her arms.