My Heart

Chapter One:

My Heart Is Awakening

She was always up before the sun.

Yet every morning, Inuyasha would roll over and expect her to be beside him.

He would reach out, eyes still closed tight, and reach for her warm body. Every time, he only touched cold, empty sheets. Inuyasha opened his eyes slowly and stared at the empty space.

He hated mornings. They made him feel hollow inside and hopelessly desperate. Like there was something crucial, irrevocably important that he was missing. And there was a chance he would never even know what was absent from his life. There was nothing worse than feeling like you might be lost forever.

The clicking sound of heels on the hardwood floor pulled him back to reality and fully awakened him. He rolled over in time to see Kikyou walk into the room, putting in her earrings.

She smiled when she saw him. "Oh, you're awake."

"You could say that." He groaned, covering his eyes from the early morning light that invaded the room.

"You heading to work?" Kikyou had just graduated from medical school and was entering her residency training period at a local hospital, so her schedule was often hectic.

Kikyou walked into the adjacent bathroom with a small sound that substituted a "yes" and tinkered with something Inuyasha couldn't see and walked back out a second later smelling of perfume. Inuyasha crinkled his nose. "You know I hate that stuff. You smell fine without that crap. It's so overpowering."

Kikyou gave him a knowing look as she walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. "Don't be silly, you just have a sensitive sense of smell."

Inuyasha toyed with her long dark hair that she had pulled back into a low, professional pony tail. "I'm not silly. You're the one trying to get all fancy to go take care of a bunch of sick people."

Kikyou rolled her eyes, gently pulling her hair out of his reach. She didn't really like having her hair touched. "I'm leaving now. Don't stay in bed all day." She kissed him gently, briefly, on the lips and stood to leave.

"Maybe you should stay home. Then we could both stay in bed all day." He grinned devilishly, lifting an eyebrow.

"Goodbye, Inuyasha." Kikyou called out over her shoulder as she exited the room; there was a weary note in her voice, a touch of exasperation on her face. He'd just been kidding. Kikyou had a strict No-Sex-Before-Marriage-Policy. Which he respected. Grudgingly.

"Try not to get vomit in your hair." Inuyasha called back helpfully.

A second later he heard her fumble with her keys and shut the door.

Muttering to himself, Inuyasha kicked off the comforter and sat up in bed, swinging his legs over the edge of the mattress where they met the cold hardwood floor. He yawned and scratched the back of his head as he surveyed Kikyou's apartment.

Everything was pristine, organized, sorted accordingly. Her apartment was full of soft pale colors, organic fabrics, and understated style. Everything matched, coincided together in harmony. Not a thing was out of place. Except for him.

One of these things is not like the other…

Inuyasha didn't exactly feel comfortable in her apartment - he knew he didn't marry into the perfect landscape that surrounded his long-time girlfriend. Fiancé, he corrected himself silently.

It seemed, somehow, that he didn't belong there. He was the only thing in Kikyou's life that wasn't perfect, organized, or controlled. He was quite the opposite actually. He was loud, brash, rude, outspoken, messy, and to top it all off he was a hanyou. He was a mixture, a mistake, a half-breed. Not quite human but not fully youkai either. He was the proverbial black mark on Kikyou's clean record.

In its uniformity the apartment was somehow harsh, and without Kikyou around he couldn't stand to be there. Whenever Inuyasha brought up his thoughts about it, she would just bring up how they should move in together and then he could have a say, so Inuyasha had learned to keep his thoughts to himself. Most of the time, he didn't even stay the night. It made Kikyou uncomfortable, which made him uncomfortable. It was the whole "living in sin" thing that Kikyou's strict family was against. They barely tolerated him as it was. If they thought he was sullying their precious Kikyou's reputation they would probably kill him and make it look like an accident.

It wasn't that Inuyasha was adverse to the idea of moving in with Kikyou. They had been engaged for years, but for some reason Inuyasha didn't feel ready to make the move. Moving in would mean getting married. It was what Kikyou wanted. She wanted her career, her car, her house, her family. She wanted her happily ever after, white picket fence and all.

It was too much for him to think about so he continued to share an apartment with his best friend; it was a small sliver of freedom he wasn't willing to relinquish just yet. Once they were married they would live together, of course. So, why rush things?

Stretching, Inuyasha stood up and grabbed his clothes off of the floor. He tugged on his jeans over his boxers and lazily pulled on his shirt. He walked into the bathroom and grabbed Kikyou's toothbrush

He always forgot to leave a toothbrush at his fiancés p1ace, so he opted to just use hers. Kikyou was extremely hygienic and germ conscious. She refused to even drink after him. If she found out he used her toothbrush, she would undoubtedly kill him in a slow and painful manner

He quickly brushed his teeth and located his shoes and jacket. He considered making the bed, knowing Kikyou would fuss if he didn't, then decided not to anyways, and left. He used the spare key Kikyou kept under the welcome mat to lock the door behind him and walked to his motorcycle parked by the curve.

The machine was all black, glossy, and looked mean as hell. Kikyou hated it. She thought motorcycles were tools for the suicidal, especially since he didn't always wear a helmet, but Inuyasha loved it too much to let it go. It was his first motorcycle and he'd done all the work on it himself.

The young, silver-haired man zipped up his jacket and threw his leg over the machine and pushed the key into the ignition. It roared to life beneath him, rumbling, vibrating through him, causing adrenaline to surge through his veins. He allowed the engine to warm up before he kicked it into gear. Any late-sleepers in the neighborhood were forcibly awakened once he really opened the bike up.

The ride to his place wasn't very long, but the morning air was bitterly cold. A light snow had fallen during the night, coating everything in a pearly, ethereal sheen. The cold air filled him with adrenaline, the brisk air reddening his cheeks.

He loved the freedom of it, the limitless power, the unrelenting speed. It was just him and the road and his heart felt immediately lighter, weightless. As long as he was on his bike gravity - reality - didn't exist. Minutes later, too soon in Inuyasha's opinion, he pulled into his driveway. He pulled the bike into the garage and removed the key, and with a final roar the engine cut to silence.

Sighing, he jogged to the front door and let himself in. The dark quiet of the cozy two bedroom apartment was a relief. The apartment he and Miroku shared had a much more lived in feel. You could actually move around and not feel like you were intruding. It was casual and comfortable, like anyone could walk right in and feel at home. It could get a little messy, but Miroku's girlfriend usually made sure they kept the place reasonably clean.

He thought he was alone until he walked into the living room and smelled breakfast cooking in the kitchen. He poked his head into the well-lit kitchen and saw Miroku battering something with a spatula. The dark-haired man was wearing a white apron with "kiss the cook" embroidered across the front, and a large, crooked chef hat.

"What the hell are you doing?" Inuyasha asked in a flat tone.

Miroku spun around, his dark blue eyes full of pleasant surprise, spatula raised. "Oh, hey Inuyasha. I didn't know you were home. Do you want any eggs?" Without waiting for an answer Miroku reached for an open carton of eggs on the counter and pulled out two more, cracked them, and spilled their insides into the large frying pan.

Inuyasha raised a bemused eyebrow, shook his head, and went upstairs to take a quick shower. The first floor contained the living room, kitchen, a full bath, and Miroku's room. The upper level was much smaller in comparison. It consisted of Inuyasha room, which was really just an attic converted into a bedroom, and a half bath had been added in.

Part of his room was kind of triangle-shaped, where the ceiling sloped, but Inuyasha was very fond of it. By the time he got out of the shower and went downstairs, Miroku was done with breakfast. The kitchen table was made out of a dark maple wood and had intricate designs carved into the legs. It was a heirloom of Miroku's that had been passed down through the generations. Most of Miroku's belongings were heirlooms passed down through the generations.

Not surprising to him, Miroku's girlfriend was seated at the table when Inuyasha walked in.

"Hey, Sango." He greeted casually, used to her presence.

"Long time no see, Inuyasha." Sango retorted sarcastically. They'd seen each other almost every day for the last two years.

He reached over Sango's head, damp silver hair dripping on the irritated brunette, and grabbed two pieces of toast and piled some eggs in-between.

"Hmm…Creative." Sango noted, amused.

"That's just me in a nutshell." He smiled cheekily.

"You leaving?" Miroku asked, feigning disappointment.

"Yeah, gotta' go make a living." He took a big bite out of his makeshift sandwich. "See you guys later."

"Try not to run over my friend when you leave. She's outside." Sango warned before he walked out the door.

"It's freezing, what the hell is she doing outside?" He muttered to himself as he closed the front door behind him. As he walked to the garage he noticed a girl kneeling in the snow.

For a second Inuyasha's eyes tricked him and he thought he saw Kikyou in his front yard. But then he got a good look at her, and while there was a noticeable similarity, this girl was very…different from Kikyou. He could pick that up from a distance.

Her long dark hair was wavy and free, unlike Kikyou's bone-straight locks that she kept confined. She was kneeling on the snow covered ground, something he couldn't imagine his fiancé doing.

She was squinting into a camera, a rather large camera with an even bigger lens. Her small, gloved hands were adjusting the lens, focusing and un-focusing. Inuyasha came to a stop a few paces behind her. He was trying to see what she was so concentrated on. He didn't see anything but a few lonely trees, snow, snow-covered buildings, and more snow.

He cocked his head, curious, as she snapped away. He could hear the shutter from where he was standing. She pulled the camera away and looked down at, closely inspecting it. Inuyasha assumed it was a digital camera because whatever she saw, she smiled. A small, sweet, innocent smile.

Then she looked up and met his gaze. Her eyes were a very light brown, wide and lined with thick, dark lashes. Her eyes seemed unnaturally bright, like an inner light was shining through them. She made him think of fire amidst the winter's cruelness.

She tilted her head, in a gesture that could only be considered cute, and then gave him a small wave. Inuyasha was a little taken aback. He was used to a more…well, harsher first impression.

Usually when people got a first look at him they weren't sure what to think. He had long platinum hair, a white-ish silver color, and he had strange eyes that fluctuated from dark amber to brilliant gold. He had some peculiar genetics and he was used to peculiar looks, at least the first go around.

This girl sitting in the snow, wearing only a light jacket, boots, and a scarf, simply seemed friendly. Oddly accepting somehow.

"What were you looking at?" Inuyasha asked, catching himself off guard. Well, he was awfully curious.

The young woman got to her feet. Snow powder clung to her jeans and jacket, but she didn't bother to brush it off.

"I'll show you." She smiled, flashing pearly white teeth, and jogged over to him. She pressed a few buttons and then bared the camera's small screen to him.

He leaned over and peered into the screen. All Inuyasha had seen were some scrawny trees but in the picture was a tiny, pale yellow flower with a bright green stem, pushing up through the snow. It was simple. Nothing special, Inuyasha thought. But the picture was oddly beautiful somehow. Maybe it was the lighting or just the angle, but the sight of that tiny little flower reaching up, struggling through the snow and death and freezing air hit him somehow. Somewhere deep, deep (like, really deep) down it touched him.

And he resented it. "That's…interesting." He articulated, making a face that made the raven haired girl laugh. She had a nice, musical laugh that was almost childish.

"I like to take pictures that are simplistic and unnecessary. Pictures that show that even when the world is at its ugliest there is still beauty." Her eyes sparkled with mirth.

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow. "I've never been big on pictures."

The girl looked up into the sky, eyes wide with expectation. "Hey, it's snowing." She smiled, then stuck out her tongue to catch the tiny snowflakes that were falling.

Inuyasha eyed her warily. "What are you doing?"

She giggled, her pink tongue still protruding from her mouth. "I'm catching snow flakes. Haven't you ever caught snowflakes on your tongue?"

"No." Inuyasha said gruffly. "Can't say that I have."

"What, not even when you were a kid?" She looked surprised and kind of distressed that he'd never partaken in this childhood game.

"Definitely not." He switched his weight from foot to foot, knowing he was running late to work yet not ready to leave this girl and her strange antics.

"Really?" She sounded outraged. "Well, then you have to do it now."

"S'cuse me?" Inuyasha narrowed his eyes at her.

The young woman laughed again then stuck her tongue back out into the frigid air. "Come on. Live a little."

Inuyasha cringed. How many times had he told Kikyou the very same thing?

After a few moments of debating he threw his head back and poked his tongue out. After a few seconds of waiting a snowflake landed on his tongue. Strangely, it tasted kind of good. Cold, brief, refreshing. A little bitter, a little shocking. And at the exact moment he heard the shutter click.

He put his tongue back into his mouth and looked down sharply at the girl holding her camera. She grinned impishly and looked down at her camera's screen. She looked at it for a moment, then smiled up at him. "Nice. Who'd of thought Mr. Grumpy-pants would be so photogenic." She teased gently, eyes sparkling, a kind smile twitching on her lips. He noticed her lips were red and chapped from the cold wind.

Inuyasha looked hard at her, thinking about getting angry. But the anger wasn't in him, so he did the first thing that came to his mind. He smiled back, however timid and miniscule the smile was.

He surprised himself. Jerking his eyes down to look at a nonexistent watch, he mumbled, "Umm…I gotta' go. Running late."

"Oh, okay." She smiled with one side of her mouth. "See you later, I guess." She waved as he started to walk away.

"Yeah, later." He muttered back, digging into his pockets to fish out the tube of chap-stick he usually kept with him. Half-youkai or not, the frigid wind was still pretty annoying, especially when he rode his bike. He tossed the small chap-stick at her, hearing her fumble to catch it. "Thank you!"

"I'm Kagome by the way." She offered her name like a gift, something that could only be given and never taken back.

Without stopping or turning around he walked into his garage, got his motorcycle and walked it outside. As he turned it on, he saw the girl look up and give his bike an impressed, longing look. For some reason that made him feel like smiling again. He shook his head as he threw his leg over the seat and kicked it into drive.

Before he was at the end of the street, he glanced back and saw the girl standing in the middle of his yard, arms spread out, camera dangling around her neck. She had her head tilted back and her tongue out, trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue even though most of the flakes were landing in her long, dark hair.

"Kagome." Inuyasha tried her name out, tested it on his tongue. The taste of her name in his mouth reminded him of the snowflake he'd sampled. He had spoken very softly, the wind carrying her his words away.

A/N: Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read. I know I should be working on 'Fragment' but my muse refused to let me go to sleep until I wrote this. So…ta-da?

This whole story is going to be told in bits and pieces. I'm kind of practicing with time lapse. Some chapters will be long-ish, some will be short. Updates should be pretty frequent as long as you guys, you know, like it. So, will this be Inuyasha/Kagome or Inuyasha/Kikyou….well, I guess you'll just have to find out! Ha-ha! Right. Please enjoy! I hope you guys like this one. Please, please, let me know what you think.