Alright took a few days longer than I thought but here we are! ^_^ I hope you guys enjoy despite my absence. I know that many of you won't be able to review the story since you already reviewed chapter 43 technically. But no worries! Plus you could always send me a message if you so choose or even review anonymously! Hope you're all doing well and that everyone's 2014 has been off to a good start!

Now without further ado…

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Inuyasha series, just this story and the other ones I've written.

~Chapter 43~

After cuddling on the floor for a short while, Inuyasha and Kagome finally stood up and got themselves cleaned up and redressed. Kagome led her beau downstairs again and they sat down on her couch in the living room.

"So, what do you want to do with the rest of the day, birthday boy?" she asked with a smile as she placed her head on his shoulder.

Inuyasha smirked and joked, "I'm not a boy. I'm an old man."

Kagome laughed a bit and rolled her eyes before shifting herself around and straddling his lap, "Fine. Then what do you want to do with the rest of the day, old man?" Before he could answer she placed a single chaste kiss to his lips and began to run her fingers through his hair. "I forgot to tell you that my mom said Buyo could stay over here. I finally told her about him and she said she didn't mind. Unless of course you've grown too attached to let him leave your apartment," she giggled.

He closed his eyes with a smirk and shook his head. He began both thinking and enjoying the feeling of her fingers and placed her arms around her. He opened his mouth to say something but paused and opened his eyes with a troubled look overtaking his expression.

Kagome noticed and stopped as well, sighing heavily in annoyance, "Let me guess. You yet again have to go to that bastard's house just so he can mistreat you and Kagura?"

"First of all it's not like that. I'm not going to his apartment. I don't want anything to do with him. I'm thinking of how to avoid him," Inuyasha quickly retorted, getting irritated just as the woman on his lap was. He watched as she stood up from the couch. "Really? You're mad at me?"

The brunette stopped in her tracks before she could walk away, "Yes! I'm mad at you! At Kagura! At him! I could never just let him do those things to me…Yet you guys stand for it. He's obviously a criminal, a drug-addict, and fucking hell he's even a rapist! Yet you guys just sit back and let him do as he wants. That's why he's all those things. Call the police, leave, do something!" she started to yell, completely shocked that Inuyasha showed surprise in her mood.

"You honestly think it's still that simple?" he asked back, trying to not raise his voice in return. He stood up along with her and continued, "I've told you. He's smart; he doesn't have much connection between the gang and himself. If anything he could just turn shit around on me. I use to sell drugs for him. There's proof of that I'm sure. He's had Kagura go on runs for him – when she's not in town, guess what? She's being a damn mule for him. Sure he's addicted to drugs, but you want to what? The cops around there don't care!" he retorted, his voice finally beginning to climb.

Kagome stood across from him, her arms crossed over her chest, about to intervene but was cut off.

"The ones that come around nowadays don't give a shit if someone is on drugs unless the person has the drugs on them. He never does unless he's currently doing them. If he's snorting cocaine then what he has on him is what he's going to use! As far as the—" he paused, thinking back to when Naraku forced himself on to Kagura in front of him. He had managed to not think much about it anymore and even Kagura pretended as though that particular moment never happened. His jaw tensed and he said in a softer tone, "It's just not something that's easy to talk about he could always put that on someone else as well. I've tried to convince Kagura to do something but she just tells me the same thing I'm telling you now." Inuyasha tried to step closer to her but Kagome only pulled away from him.

"You've given me a talk like this before…It just doesn't cut it. It all just sounds like some…some cover up! Or trick he's trying to get you to think he's going to do!" she replied, her temper calming down with his and not wanting to yell.

"You really don't get it and you won't get it because he's never ruined something for you or taken anything away from you and on that note he also didn't keep you from starving when you ran away from foster homes and he didn't give you a place to go when you didn't have much else. Kagura and I have at some point relied on that bastard and we both hate him for that; it's just another thing he has over us. Life over there is really different from the picture-perfect one you have around here. I thought you understood that by now. I don't know if they're just his scare tactics but it's also not one I really want to test," he grumbled. He shook his head and shoved his hands in his pockets.

Kagome bit her lip in thought before replying, "Maybe I don't understand. I don't believe that just because someone did something seemingly nice in the past means they can get away with whatever they please in the future. I can just hope that someone does something about him one of these days before he does something else to an innocent person. I don't want to fight on your birthday but I also don't want to see you get hurt."

"I'll be alright. Uhm, you mentioned Buyo could stay here, I think that'll be a good idea, I'll go get him and if you don't mind I might even be able to get Kagura to come over here for once," he suggested, quickly trying to change the subject to something more light.

Kagome smiled becoming excited, "Yeah. I'd like that. We can continue talking about the other stuff later," she added, already knowing what her beau was trying to do.

Inuyasha nodded once, happy to at least be past the subject for now. "I'll go get him then. Better to do it now rather than later.

Kagome draped her arms over his shoulders and kissed him gently, "I love you," she whispered against his lips before pulling away.

"I love you too," he replied with a small smile back. Inuyasha then turned and left out of the front door, going out to the driveway, getting in the car and was quickly headed off to his apartment.

As he drove he ran a hand through his hair, huffing in frustration. 'Maybe she's right…' he thought to himself, thinking back to all the times he should have stopped Naraku. There were so many opportunities, yet he took advantage of none. He began to put more blame on himself but immediately stopped.

'It's not my fault that Naraku's a prick. It's not,' Inuyasha continued to repeat to himself silently. The only solution would be for Naraku to die; it would end the reign of terror on Inuyasha's life and Kagura's. 'Bah…Who am I kidding? I'm no killer. Just like he said…' Inuyasha reminded himself. In addition, killing Naraku would only serve to get himself in trouble.

He stopped at a red light and put his head in his hands, breathing deeply, "We have to move," he said aloud. That had to be the solution. Kagura and he would have to leave that side of town. But how? That maniac would just follow them no matter where they went or worse, would kill them. Even if they could somehow move, how far away would they have to go? There was no way he was going to leave Kagome or going to college behind.


The abrupt and loud noise from behind took Inuyasha out of his thought as he looked up and saw that the light was green. He quickly pulled through, waving his hand out of his window hoping that the apology would reach the other driver. His thoughts were not together and they were not something that could be figured out in one stoplight.

Soon enough he was on his side of town. 'Well, here we go,' he thought to himself in chagrin as he got out of the car. Slamming the door shut and turning around he nearly jumped backwards, startled by the sudden appearance of the very man he hated.

"Why so jumpy?" Naraku asked with a grin plastered on his expression.

"You came out of nowhere…" Inuyasha muttered, clenching his jaw in frustration.

"Now, now, birthday boy – don't be such a grump," Naraku said in a stern voice, grabbing the back of Inuyasha's neck in a tight grip. It was not enough to hurt, but Inuyasha understood the message: he was on Naraku's time now. Inuyasha shrugged his shoulders in a quick motion to release himself from Naraku's grip.

The older man stopped and looked at the defiant young man that stood in front of him and smirked, "I take it, you don't trust me."

Inuyasha was not going to have it this time. Naraku was not going to control him. "I'm just here to bring something back to Kagome. Then I'll be on my way," he replied in a monotonous voice, quickly turning and heading toward his apartment.

Naraku waited a few seconds before calling out, "That's fine. But I guess you won't be getting a 'Happy birthday' from dear old Kagura," he grinned, knowing that Inuyasha could not walk away after hearing that.

Inuyasha clenched his fists and his jaw tensed before facing Naraku once more, this time with some distance between them. "I'm tired of you controlling me…and Kagura. If you hurt her anymore I swear I'll—"

"You'll what? Attack me? Have me kick the crap out of you only for it to be broken up by the very woman who's supposed 'honor' you're trying to protect?" Naraku scoffed with a laugh, "Only for you to run with your tail between your legs. You're a boy who has been hiding behind others and excuses all his life," the deranged man continued. "'Oh poor me! My name is Inuyasha and my father got killed so I'm helpless! I killed my mother because I was born! Pity me!'" Naraku mocked.

"Shut the fuck up!" Inuyasha shouted moving closer to the older man.

"Reality doesn't 'shut the fuck up,'" Naraku quoted again, grabbing Inuyasha by the front of his shirt bringing them as close together as he could. "I gave you your opportunity to get rid of me. You didn't go through with it. It's your fault I'm still here," he laughed. "Even now, as I give you plenty of reason to assault me. You won't. You won't do it unless you think you're saving some useless woman; unless there is someone there to plead to me to spare your life once again."

"I don't need anyone to save me. I don't attack you because I'm not sinking to your level. You're not. Worth. My. Energy," Inuyasha replied with stern purpose as he grabbed Naraku's hands and roughly shoved him away. "Where is Kagura? She's coming with me."

"Going with you in what car? Do you forget? This is one of my cars that you've been using the entire time. In fact, it's easy to say that you're stealing my property," the older man said, obviously becoming more agitated.

"Then we'll take the bus. We'll walk. I'll call Kagome. There are options that get us far, far away from the likes of you. Now where is she?" Inuyasha replied through gritted teeth.

Naraku's temper swiftly spiked and the man shouted in rage, "You will never be free of me! I own you both! I own this neighborhood and all those who live here! This is my territory, my domain and no one takes that away from me! Do you understand that?!"

'I need to find Kagura…He's officially gone fucking mental,' Inuyasha quickly thought to himself as he stepped away from the drug-addict. He hurried across the street to Naraku's apartment before the older man could follow and practically kicked down the door to the residence despite the door being partially ajar.

"Kagura?!" Inuyasha called out in a hurry. He quickly went to where he knew Naraku's bedroom was and opened the door almost breathing a sigh of relief to see that Kagura – despite some fresh bruises – was alright.

"Inuyasha? What are you doing here…I thought you were going to be with Kagome today," the woman said in confusion.

"I'm getting you out of here, alright? Naraku's gone crazy again. I don't want him hurting you anymore. We can figure out what to do later, but for now. Come on. Before he comes up here, he'll be here any second!" he said in what seemed like one huff of breath. His heart was pounding in his ears. He was finally doing it. He was going to escape Naraku and be able to live a free and healthy life. He'll be damned if that maniac had any more control…He'd—

"No," Kagura replied.

Inuyasha's breath stopped. "Wh-what?" he asked, disconcerted.

"I said no," Kagura repeated, standing up from the bed. "It's never that easy, Inuyasha…I don't want to be a pessimist but he'll never leave us alone. Not if we both leave him. He might forget in time if you go. But I have too much "time invested" to ever leave apparently," she explained almost lifelessly.

"I don't understand. Kagura, I won't let him hurt you or Kagome, or me ever again…" Inuyasha began to say.

"Where would we stay, Inuyasha? You can only stay in motels and hotels for so long. We can't stay at Kagome's house. Her mother, as you say, is still adjusting to you. How would she react to…me…coming in to her house as well? What about when you two are in college, huh? I know you might stay local, but she might go somewhere else. Then what?" she further reasoned.

It was a weight coming down on him. He couldn't find the words he wanted or needed. How could everyone all be making sense at the same time? "I'd take care of us…" he let out, those five words being all he could in fact say.

"You need to take care of yourself. I'm a big girl, I'll figure some stuff out," Kagura reassured him.

"Well I'm not leaving this side of town without you," Inuyasha stated, looking his foster-mother in the eyes.

Kagura sighed and shook her head, "I can't change your mind can I?"

"No," Inuyasha simply replied back. He moved in to hug the woman in front of him. During their embrace his stomach sank. It had been much longer than a few seconds yet Naraku wasn't yet in the apartment. He was sure that the man would have been close on his heels.

Without saying anything to Kagura, Inuyasha quickly ran back out of the apartment. The man was nowhere to be found. The only evidence that he had been outside was the smashed windshield on the car that Inuyasha had been using and a slashed tire.

"So much for driving back…" Inuyasha said aloud under his breath.

Kagura was soon outside, standing with him, "Where is he?" she asked, her brow furrowed.

"That's the problem…I don't know," Inuyasha replied. "I'm going to go check my apartment," he added, starting to walk back across the street.

Kagura quickly trailed behind him. "If he's in there, don't lose your composure, okay? He's likely destroying a lot of things, but you have to remain numb to it. He wants your reaction. That's usually all he ever wants out of someone…anger and fear," she advised, her sentence trailing off as she looked down to the ground.

Inuyasha only nodded, not sure if he would actually keep to her advice if he saw Naraku destroying something of his or especially Kagome's. The two slowly approached the apartment door and Inuyasha pressed his ear against the door.


It made him even more nervous. He turned the handle. Locked. Just as it had been when he left it, but Naraku could have just locked himself inside the apartment, couldn't he have? Inuyasha took out his keys and unlocked the door as quietly as he could.

He pushed it open and peered inside, worried for what he was about to see. Instead, they saw nothing. His apartment was exactly how he had left it.

No destruction. No Naraku.

Alright so we'll end it there for now ;D This has actually gone a completely different way than what I had first intended. At least for this chapter and a few subsequent chapters. But it all still works :D So I'm excited for you guys to see where this story is headed and I hope there is still at least one person out there to read this! Thank you so much again. ^_^ The next chapter has no promised date but I'll try and get it out ASAP