FINALLY IT'S DONE! Thank the Gods! I'm really sorry it took so long to finish it but it's done! Done done done! Thank you all so much for reading this and dealing with my inability to update on time!

Inuyasha's POV-

I let out a pained groan, shifting slightly as I opened my eyes. Everything was blurry, no doubt from blood loss, but I could see the blurred shape of a girl with dark brown hair and brown eyes.

"K-Kagome?" I muttered, though I doubt it was audibly. Hell it even sounded like a croaked mess to me.

"Inuyasha. Are you alright?" the girl asked, causing me to reel back slightly. All at once my senses came back. The scent of bones and graveyard soil assaulted my nose, and my vision cleared, giving me a clear view of Kikyo.

Immediately I turned away, scowling. Of course she wasn't Kagome. The pain in my stomach now felt insignificant as my heart clenched, and the familiar numbness sank in.

"Please, Inuyasha, let me tend your wounds," Kikyo begged, but that only made me angrier. When Kagome was with us she didn't ask to tend my wounds. She would sit me and force me to let her.

"No," I stated, bringing my hand up and clenching the locket Kagome gave me in my fist. "There's no point," I grumbled before laying my head back on the trunk of the tree.

"Inuyasha, you mustn't say that. Now please, let me-" she started but I couldn't listen to her anymore. I let out a savage growl before glaring at her.

"There's no point! Without Kagome it's hopeless! I don't deserve to be helped until I can get her back and apologize for whatever I did to drive her away! If she's not with me it's pointless!" I screamed, tears burning in my eyes.

"Inuyasha... I know you miss her, but there is nothing we can do right now, she-" she began, only to be interrupted again.

"What about her Kikyo? She's trapped herself in her own time right? Or is there something you're not telling us?" Sango growled, gripping Kohaku's shoulder tightly.

"What are you talking about Sango?" I asked, glancing at Kikyo who seemed to have frozen in place, starring at Kohaku with a mix of hate, and fear.

"You've lied to us this entire time. You lied to Kagome! What? Did you think Kohaku wouldn't say anything? That he'd be so preoccupied with me that as long as you paid attention nothing would leak out? Well looks like you were wrong," she hissed, and I could see that she and Kohaku had been crying.

"What's going on… Kikyo, what do they mean? What are you hiding?" I questioned, sitting up slightly despite the pain. Kikyo opened her mouth, looking between the three of us and gaping like a fish while Miroku, who had woken up during Sango's rant, crawled over to us.

"Inuyasha-sama she's been fooling you all. She wasn't the one who took the jewel shard out of my neck. Lady Kagome did!" he yelled, choking slightly on his words.

I froze. My mind was reeling, and I could hear my heart beating in my chest. The pain was numb again, almost like a buzzing in the back of my mind, but I forced myself to focus.

"What?" I breathed, looking to Sango for clarification. She nodded, tears pooling in her eyes again.

"Four weeks ago Kikyo summoned Kagome to ask her to say goodbye to you in her place. Her clay body could no longer hold foreign souls, and she was dying. Kagome thought you'd be devastated if Kikyo died, so she gave Kikyo most of her soul.

"She and Shippo were traveling by themselves finding jewel shards when they found Kohaku. They brought him to Sesshomaru and made a deal with him to bring Kohaku back to life after she took the shard out," she finished, shooting Kikyo another dirty look.

"That… that doesn't make sense! How come I didn't smell her when Kohaku came? How come he didn't say anything?" I exclaimed, becoming increasingly anxious.

"On our way to the camp she tripped me, and caused me to fall into a puddle of mud. I had to bathe because I wanted to look presentable just in case you were all weary of me. At the time I didn't even realize what was going on.

"I thought of saying something many times, but every time something would come up. And Kikyo never tried to keep me quiet, so I assumed that no one liked talking about it. It wasn't until today that I found out what she has been spewing to you," he explained, spitting the last words.

My brain was swarming at this point. I desperately tried to assess his story, find something that might suggest he was tricking us. Perhaps he was still Naraku's pawn. However, the same thought kept running through my head. She's still here. She's still here. She's still here.

Throwing myself to my feet I grabbed Kohaku's shoulders, shocking both him and Sango. I realized it didn't matter if it was a trick or not. There was a chance of getting Kagome back, and dammit I was going to take it!

"Kohaku, where is she? Where was she last?" I asked shaking him slightly in an attempt to force the answers out.

"Inuyasha, I wasn't yet finished. Without her soul, Kagome is slowly dying," he started, and I could feel my face drain. However, before I had a chance to fully react he continued. "We were able to help prolong her life, but after Sesshomaru smelt death on her, he decided to let her travel with them so he could try to keep her alive for you. She's under the impression that she's helping take care of Rin, but she's traveling with him nevertheless," he finished, staring at me with a worried look.

"That's all I need to know," I muttered before taking off into the forest. I could hear them call after me, but I didn't really care. I was going to find her. I didn't even care that I had an enormous gash in my stomach, or the fact that I had no idea where I was going, I refuse to lose her.

I was slightly aware of the ripping sound coming from my abdomen, and the searing pain that followed, but I kept pushing myself forward.

It didn't take long for Sango, Miroku, Kohaku, and Kikyo to catch up, riding on the back of Kirara, and they were soon flying next to me.

"Inuyasha! When I was traveling with Sesshomaru and Kagome he mentioned heading to the west to check on the land there, however they were in no hurry! Also, Kikyo's soul collectors are under Kagome's control now, and they keep her and Rin's scents concealed. If you want to try to sniff them out you have to look for Sesshomaru's scent, he's rarely in the barrier," Kohaku yelled, shooting me a smile.

I nodded my head, changing direction immediately before looking back at them and sneering at Kikyo.

"Why did you let her come along? Hasn't she done enough to Kagome already?" I hissed, glaring at her. I could see the hurt look in her eyes as she frowned, but she just straightened her back like she always does when presented with conflict.

"Even if you can find Kagome, she's still dying. As long as I have her soul her fate is sealed. I need to be there so she can take it back," she said calmly but I couldn't take her seriously anymore.

"It's your fault she… we are in this mess to begin with! Kikyo you are dead! There is nothing that can be done about that and nothing should be done about it! You had your time and it should've been up fifty years ago, you can't steal Kagome's chance to live!" I screamed, causing her to reel back like I slapped her.

Growling slightly, I turned away and started running faster. A part of me, the part that would always consider Kikyo as my first love, felt guilty. My words obviously hurt her, after all, I basically told her that Kagome was more important to me, but that was the truth.

Kagome meant more to me than anything, and all I wanted was to be with her. Kikyo's existence wasn't natural. She died fifty years ago and she can't keep prolonging her time here on earth. She's needed elsewhere, and Kagome needs her soul back.

After a few hours I started being able to smell Sesshomaru's scent. It was a few days old and laced with the smell of Jaken and Ah-Un but it proved we were going the right way.

Once again my vision blurred slightly, and I could now feel blood trickling down my legs, but I didn't dare stop.

If what Kohaku says is true, then Kagome is probably eating herself up about why I haven't come and found her yet. She probably believes that I chose Kikyo over her.

I'm not completely blind, I know Kagome has feelings for me, well, at least she did before all of this happened, but I couldn't bring myself to act on my own feelings. I was afraid that if I did, something would happen to her and I'd lose her. I wanted to wait until Naraku was gone so he couldn't take her away from me.

And look how well that turned out.

If only she knew how much I need her. How much I love her. Maybe she wouldn't have felt obligated to save Kikyo for my sake. Maybe she would've known that she was more than enough.

A few more hours passed before his scent became fresh and more traceable. From what I could gather they were traveling slowly, stopping frequently, and I couldn't help but think that that might be due to Kagome.

And as I was running up a mountain path that would lead me past the border, into the western lands, I was able to hear her voice. It was muffled, since she was still a few hundred feet away, but I was just able to pick up on what she was saying.

"Sesshomaru-sama, is something the matter?" she asked, and I immediately noticed how tired and empty she sounded.

"Do you sense anything, girl?" he asked, no doubt already aware of my presence. It was quiet for a few seconds before Kagome spoke again, right as I was rounding the corner to where they were.

"Sesshomaru… I can sense a lot of sacred jewel shards and-" she started, but I couldn't hear her anymore. I was finally able to see her. Kohaku was right; she looked like she was dying. She had lost a lot of weight, and had dark circles under her eyes, which was now accented by how pale her skin had become, but she was still beautiful.

"Kagome!" I yelled, catching her off guard as she spun around, her eyes wide as she gaped at me. I had every intention of pulling her into a hug, but as soon as I got within three feet of her I hit an invisible wall.

Electricity reverberated through my body, intensifying the pain in my stomach, and causing another gush of blood to leak down my body. I let out a straggled yelp, before getting sent backwards, slamming into the ground with a loud "UNF".

I could hear my head crack on the ground beneath me making me feel incredibly light headed. Groaning, I rolled my head to the side, trying to clear the colorful spots from my vision so I could get to my feet.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled, and one moment she was next to Rin and Shippo, and the next she was kneeling by my side. "You idiot! You're bleeding everywhere! How long have you gone without getting that wound checked out?" she asked, her eyes shining with worry.

Moaning slightly, I pushed myself up onto my elbows I could properly look at her. I could tell she was still confused on why I was here, and she was worried, like always, about me. I could also tell that Kohaku was right; the smell of death was laced in her scent almost like some of those perfumes she wears. At that moment Sango landed Kirara behind us, causing Kagome to look up.

"What are you all-" she started, but I didn't let her finish. In one swift moment, I grabbed the collar of her shirt and pulled her towards me, pressing my lips to hers.

She let out a soft "eep" sound before relaxing, melting against me. However, after a few seconds her eyes shot open, except instead of her brown orbs, they were glowing a dim white color.

Her body reeled back, face aiming towards the sky as her mouth opened and began to glow as well. She was soon enveloped in a very faint white hue.

"What's going on?" I asked before looking towards Sango and the other, only to see Kikyo was also glowing, her eyes shining a bright white as well as her opened mouth. However, the white glow that enveloped her was a lot brighter than Kagome's, and expanded outwards.

Slowly, orbs of light broke out from Kikyo's light before shooting into the air and then flying down into Kagome's mouth, making the light round her get bigger and brighter.

Kikyo's however became dimmer and dimmer, until eventually there was no light around her at all and one final orb escaped from her mouth, leaving her eyes to return to normal as the orb entered Kagome.

Kikyo slumped to the ground while Kagome's body jerked again as the light expanded, flaring out before disappearing altogether as her eyes returned to normal.

Mumbling a few incoherent words, her eyes rolled back slightly before closing as she lost consciousness, falling on top of me.

"Kagome! Kagome, what's wrong? Are you okay? What just happened?" I asked frantically as I tried to shake her awake.

"Relax Inuyasha. Her soul has returned to her body. She simple fainted due to fatigue. She probably hasn't gotten much rest or nutrition as of late because her body doesn't feel like she needs it. When you get her home make sure she gets plenty of water and bed rest," someone next to me said, causing me to look up.

Kikyo had dragged herself over to where Kagome and I were, however, her legs started deteriorating, turning to dirt and ash.

"Without a soul I can no longer continue this existence. I…apologize for what I have done. I didn't know she meant this much to you. Can you forgive me?" she asked, her face cracking while her left arm started to fall apart.

"Kikyo… this was unforgiveable. If it wasn't for Kohaku, Kagome would have died. I know some part of you thought you were doing the right thing, but Kagome's life was at risk, and I can't forgive that," I stated, averting my eyes from her so I could brush a stray hair from Kagome's face.

"I understand," she whispered, and almost like an old vase, the rest of her body crumbled, sinking into the ground.

I would be lying if I said her death didn't affect me. There would always be a part of me that would love her, and it's a shame that things ended the way they did. But I couldn't sit around and mourn her loss or feel sorry for myself anymore. It wasn't fair to everyone, and it was unhealthy.

"Why… WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!" someone screamed, and I looked up to see Shippo looking down at me tears streaming down his face as he sobbed.

"I was so worried! I thought you were never going to come and Kagome was going to die and I'd have no one! She was so broken I didn't know what to do! I tried to be strong but I'm just a kid!" he wailed, frantically rubbing her eyes.

Cringing, I grumbled a little before shifting Kagome so she was secured in one arm while I used my free arm to grab the runt.

"Will you shut up, I would have been sooner if I had known," I muttered, curling him into an awkward, one armed hug while he cried into my shoulder.

"I was so scared!" he cried before bursting into hysterical sobs, gripping my haori tightly in his little fits.

"Relax ya brat, you did good. Thank you for protecting her for me," I whispered before looking up at Sesshomaru. "Uh… thank you… for watching over her," I muttered, slightly embarrassed that people witnessed me being nice to the kid.

Sesshomaru made a soft noise to acknowledge my thanks before turning around, motioning for Rin, Jaken, and Ah-Un to follow him. The soul collectors, swarmed around Kagome and I for a moment before returning to Sesshomaru and creating a barrier around them once more.

"We'll be in touch," he stated before walking off with Rin waving frantically beside him. I nodded before turning my attention towards Sango and Kohaku.

"You two take Kagome to Kaede's. She needs to get somewhere warm. If she wakes up before I get there make sure to get some food and water into her system," I instructed, hating the idea of leaving her, but she needed to get there quickly, and I need to rest before I started running again.

They nodded, rushing over and taking her from me and heaving her onto Kiara. Kohaku climbed on in front of her, while Sango climbed behind her in order to keep her steady

"Inuyasha, are you sure you're going to be okay? Those wounds are pretty bad…" she commented, shifting Kagome in her arms.

"I'll have Miroku stitch me up the best he can before I head back," I explained, brushing it off. She nodded while Kohaku urged Kiara forward, and in moments they were gone.

I groaned loudly, gripping my stomach as I finally let the pain set in. All I wanted to do was lay down and relax a minute but I owed Shippo an explanation, and I need to get back to Kagome.

"Kikyo lied to us. She told us you and Kagome went back to Kagome's time and sealed the well and we stupidly believe her. And when Kohaku came she took measures to get rid of Kagome's scent. Kohaku was so happy to be with Sango, he didn't hear about what we thought happened to Kagome until today," I explained to him, but he only nodded into my shoulder, sniffling quietly.

"Inuyasha, I hate to interrupt, but I really must look at that wound. I'm going to fetch some water and when I come back we need to clean and bandage your stomach," he explained before rushing into the forest.

"Shippo… how bad was it?" I whispered, tightening my grip on him as I shifted so I was sitting with my legs crossed.

"At first she was e-empty. She tried to be normal for m-me but she c-couldn't fool anyone. When Kohaku showed up she g-got a little bit better, but she s-still wasn't herself. I was a-afraid that she was gonna d-die," he hiccupped, curling into me while I sighed.

"It's my fault… if I had only been truthful about my feelings Kagome wouldn't have felt like she needed to sacrifice herself for Kikyo. If I had only known…" I muttered while Shippo pulled back and hit me half-heartedly in the chest.

"Yeah, it is your fault! Next time be a man and confess!" he yelled causing me to grin and scruff up his hair.

Moments later Miroku came back with water so I set Shippo down and took my haori off, allowing him to get to work cleaning the wound. Once I suffered through that, we wrapped the wound with my undershirt before pulling my clothes back on and heading back to the village with Miroku on my back and Shippo on my shoulder.

Unfortunately I could no longer travel as fast because of my stomach, so the trip took twice as long, especially with Miroku on my back.

When we reached Kaede's hut I could see that Kagome was still asleep, but the smell of death was gone, and she was getting color back in her cheeks.

Sango, Kohaku, and Kaede, who just found out what happened, were now sitting by the fire eating some rice and fish. Shippo perked at the smell, and I could see he desperately wanted to eat, so I picked him up from my shoulder and dropped him into Sango's lap.

"Here, feed the runt. Kaede-baba needs to stitch up my stomach," I said roughly while Sango smiled and rolled her eyes.

"I see you're back to normal now that Kagome-chan is back," she joked, fixing Shippo a plate of rice and grabbing him some smoked fish from the fire.

"Tch, whatever. How's she doing?" I asked as I laid down, taking my haori off once more and ripping off the make-shift bandage.

"Still asleep, she was fidgeting a little not too long ago so she should be waking up soon, but I don't think she's slept at all since she left," she explained while Kaede began cleaning my wound again.

Before I could respond however, I heard Kagome make a soft groaning sound. Just as I was about to jump to my feet Kaede stabbed a needle into my stomach as she began sewing the wound closed.

"Gah! Dammit woman! Can't you be a little more careful?" I cursed, growling slightly while Kaede rolled her eyes and stabbed me again.

"Inuyasha?" Kagome whispered, while I turned my head to look at her. She was rubbing her eyes slightly, but she was up, kneeling on the futon she was on while looking at me which caused me to smile.

"H-hey Kagome, how're you feeling?" I asked before turning to Kohaku. "Can you get her some water?" I asked and he nodded, while I turned back to her.

"I'm confused… what happened? Why did you come after all this time? Why did you…" she started, but trailed off before touching her lips.

I blushed, glancing away from her as I frowned. In that moment Kohaku came back and gave her a cup of water, which she eagerly sucked down.

"Could you give us a moment?" I muttered, turning my attention to everyone else who blinked before exploding into "Oh's!", and "Of course!", "We'll be right outside!".

Kaede, who had just finished the last stitch got up and excused herself as well, leaving just Kagome and I in the hut.

"Kagome… if I had known you were still in this time period, I would have come after you right away. I would have-" I started, while sitting up but she cut me off.

"Wait what do you mean if you had known? Didn't Kikyo tell you?" she asked, while I shook my head. "That wench! She promised me she'd tell you all what happened!" she yelled, frowning. "Where is she? I need to talk to her!" she exclaimed while I shot her an apologetic smile.

"Kagome she's gone. She died when you got your soul back. She apologized, and she knows she's done you wrong, but her time is up," I explained while she blanked.

"Inuyasha… I'm so sorry. I didn't know… are you okay?" she whispered while I just smiled, shaking my head.

"Yeah I'm fine. You shouldn't be worried about me, ya idiot. Anyways, Kikyo convinced us you and Shippo returned to your own time and sealed the well. I was trying to get you back but I thought I needed the jewel.

"It wasn't until yesterday that we found out the truth. Kohaku had been so caught up in being back with Sango that he didn't hear about what we thought happened to you until yesterday. As soon as I found out the truth I came after you.

"Kagome, do you seriously believe I'd rather you give up living in order to keep a dead puppet alive?" I asked, my ears flattening against my head.

I could see tears welling in her eyes as she caught onto the hidden meaning. She now knew that she meant more to me than Kikyo, but I don't believe she realized the entire truth.

"Kagome, you should, uh, know by now that I'm not good at…expressing myself. But, the reason I, uh, kissed you, is because not having you around for four weeks was killing me. I no longer cared about my own life, all I wanted was to get you back so I could tell you that… so I could tell you that I… I love you," I murmured, averting my eyes slightly.

I could hear her catch her breath while a dark blush spread across my face. However, I didn't have to wait for her to say something because within seconds she threw herself into my arms, pressing her lips to mine desperately.

I could feel tears streaming down her cheeks, but I wasted no time in pulling her against me. Her arms wrapped around my neck, burying her hands in my hair while I held her close to me, smirking into the kiss.

When she finally pulled away she was smiling, laughing, and crying at the same time. Her eyes were sparkling, full of life like they always were, but there was a strange glow to her. \

"I'm sorry for taking so long. I'm an idiot," I concluded while she laughed again, pulling one of her hands back to wipe at her eyes.

"Yes you are, but that's okay," she stated before burying her face into my chest. After a few minutes, however, she pulled away with a smile.

"I love you too," she stated, pecking me on the lips before leaning back. "But I'm starving, and I'm in desperate need for a real bath, and I need to see my family," she stated before getting up and running out the door.

Blinking in confusion, it took me a moment to register what was going on, but when I did, I panicked.

"Shit! I forgot to tell her Kikyo sealed the well!" I yelled before struggling to get my haori back on as I tripped out the door.

Once I was back on my feet, I scrambled to chase after her, struggling because the stitches were too tight, and by the time I got to the well she was already there.

"Hurry up! Since when are you so slow?" she asked, smiling as she stood up on the lip and jumped in.

"Kagome wait!" I warned, rushing over to her, but when I looked inside the well there was a slight shimmer inside and she was gone. "Tch, that girl doesn't even realize how powerful she is," I muttered before jumping in after her, and getting swallowed up in the blue light.