Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this late night interlude... especially for the one who's no longer wavering. A nod of recognition is bent towards Rumiko Takahashi for her creative prowess.


Inuyasha had always preferred the vantage of trees, but flimsy scrub was the best tonight's campsite had to offer. After pacing and grumping, he finally sprawled on the ground at the point where the shadows swallowed the circle of firelight. With ears pricked and sword within reach, he became their first line of defense.

"Turning your back on us?" Miroku inquired lightly.

"What of it?" he snapped.

Kagome gently coaxed, "Join us, Inuyasha."

"Keh... I'm right here, ain't I?"

The matter was wisely dropped, and one by one, the group settled down to sleep. As midnight drew near, the hanyou glanced over his shoulder to make sure Kagome was comfortable. Figures. Huffing softly, he rolled to his feet and stole to her side. Somehow, Shippo had wriggled around, kicking loose her covers. Wary of the sleeping young woman's impressive anti-hentai reflexes, Inuyasha held back his sleeve and reached for the flung corner of her sleeping bag.

As he did so, a faint pink gleam caught his eye. Clawed fingers twitched involuntarily, but he didn't try to take the Jewel that promised so much... then took it all away. The partially-formed Shikon no Tama hung from a chain around Kagome's neck, and its faint twinkle seemed to taunt him for wavering. It ain't because I'm weak. Stuff's changed is all.

To earn Sesshoumaru's respect, he'd planned to become fully youkai. To keep Kikyou's love, he'd agreed to become fully human. Contradictory wishes. Passing fancies. Near mistakes. He was honestly glad those wishes had fizzled into nothing, for the future he saw now was something he couldn't have even imagined back then.

I don't need you no more, he mentally informed the traitorous Jewel. With a steady hand, Inuyasha eased the covers back over Kagome's shoulder. Everything I need is right here.

End Note: This drabble was written for the Live Journal community firsttweak and their prompt for Contest #52—Midnight Wishes. Posted on September 10, 2011. 300 words.