Yes, new story time! And I know that I have a bunch of other stories that need updating but...well, I've lost my flash drive. And that thing had all of them with the new chapters on them that I've been working on when creativity strikes me. So, I will be trying (hopefully) over the summer to rewrite those chapters and get them up. But for now, let's do this one!

Disclaimer: Don't own Inuyasha, plain and simple.

His to Protect

I stumbled over another tree root as I made my way through the forest. The crescent moon above didn't give me much light, so I was tripping over anything and everything that I came across. I managed to catch myself on a tree branch to keep myself from falling face-first on the ground. Again.

I glanced up at the moon through a break in the canopy of tree branches above me and sighed. This would be the last night I would be able to make this journey for a few days. It made my heart heavy, but the break was necessary and only for a couple days. I swore quietly when I tripped again.

I stumbled along for another ten minutes before the trees broke and I was standing in a clearing. Off to the left there was a stream bubbling and flowing on its way to wherever it was going. The moon and stars shone down, lighting the clearing; I could see so much better here than in the forest. There was a lone tree in the middle of the clearing, tall and in full bloom. But I didn't care about it. I only cared about who was sitting at the base.

He sat the way he always did, one arm propped up on his knee, with his back against the tree. He wore only his hakamas, but his flowing silver hair covered his shoulders and part of his chest after being blown there by the gentle breeze. He was facing the stream, but his eyes were closed, his chest rising and falling steadily. The man was so still, he could've been asleep. I knew that he wasn't, but I still crept forward slowly and silently.

"You're late," he said, his deep voice making my heart thump hard in my chest. A small giggle escaped me as I walked forward to kneel next to him.

"You know I can't get away until everyone's asleep, and Inuyasha's testy right now," I said, a smile on my face. He sighed before turning molten amber eyes to me.

"You could not use the excuse of bathing?"

I laughed openly this time. "Yes, that would definitely work, especially when we're nowhere near a hot spring," I said, rolling my eyes at him.

A small chuckle rumbled through his chest and his eyes danced. Crossing his legs, he suddenly pulled me into his lap, making me yelp and laugh. His strong arms wrapped around me, holding me to his chest. I sighed and leaned my head against his shoulder, the small blue crescent mark at the place where my neck meets my shoulder pulsing in time with his heart.

"I have missed you, my miko," he whispered, burying his face in my hair.

"I've missed you too, Sesshomaru," I whispered back, smiling. I ran my finger over the pink arrow that covered the area just over his heart.


"Why is it different?" Sesshomaru looked at me quizzically, raising a manicured eyebrow.

"Why is what different?" he asked.

"This," I said, tracing the mark on his bare chest. "I thought that they were supposed to match."

Sesshomaru sighed and pulled me closer, his warm arm wrapping around my naked waist. He ran a claw over my moon, making me shudder slightly.

"This is your mate's mark," he explained, holding my gaze with his own.

"I know that, but why-"

"In other words, it is the mark of your mate."

I blinked, eyes wide. "So if the moon is your mark, then that means…."

He nodded. "The arrow is yours. It signifies that I belong to you and only you, just as the moon shows that you are mine alone."

~End Flashback~

I closed my eyes and smiled softly. I'm still not sure when I realized that my love for Inuyasha was that of a friend and that I was actually in love with the taiyoukai whose arms I rested in, but the important thing is that I did. And I was glad that I had since I was now happily mated.

The wind blew and a shiver ran down my body. Why did I wear a tank top and sweats to bed again? Or better yet, why did I walk through the forest without a jacket? I slipped my arms underneath Sesshomaru's so I could pull myself closer to him, both to stay warm and because I liked being close to him. I felt him shudder when my cold hands rested on his bare shoulder blades.

I barely felt him move his arms and the next thing I knew, I was being covered with something soft and warm. I opened my eyes and looked down as he wrapped his arms around me again to see that he had placed his fur over me.

"Thanks," I said. I stretched up to kiss his cheek. Sesshomaru obviously had other plans. He lifted his knees and slouched down slightly, lifting me up, and pressed his lips against mine. I sighed as my eyes slid closed. I wrapped my arms around his neck, tangling my fingers into his hair. One of his hands slid up to hold the back of my head, his claws knotting themselves into my hair, while the other wrapped tighter around my waist.

When Sesshomaru deepened the kiss, I shifted so that I was straddling his hips. His arms tightened around me as I moved, pulling me closer. I removed my arms from his neck and ran my hands down his chest, feeling his muscles. I worked my way down his stomach to his hips, sighing against his lips. My fingers latched onto the top of his hakamas and searched for the knot holding them in place.

Sesshomaru pulled back. "Kagome," he said, a warning in his voice. I ignored him and continued my searching.

I heard him sigh and then his hand was holding both of mine. He brought them back up to his neck, shaking his head. I pouted.

"Why'd you do that?" I whined, staring at him.

"Not tonight," he said simply. His gold eyes were soft with love and understanding, but his words were firm.

"But Sessh-"


I leaned back so that my back rested against his knees. I crossed my arms and halfway glared at him. "Why not?" I asked.

Sesshomaru sighed, closing his eyes. When he opened them again, his face was completely controlled, something he rarely did when we were alone. He reached up and untangled my arms, taking my hands in his.

"It's cold," he stated, running a finger over the goosebumps covering my arms.

I frowned. "So? You'd keep me warm and we have your mokomoko, I'd be fine. The cold is a poor excuse."

"It is still true. I will not have my mate falling ill when I am unable to care for her." I flushed at his words, but I knew he had a point.

"Still, it's never stopped either of us before," I said, watching as he ran his thumbs over the back of my hands.

"Hn," he hummed. He resituated me in his lap so that I was leaning against his chest again and recovered us. He tilted my face up so that his amber gaze was fixed on my face. I felt him take my necklace in his hand gently so he could run his fingers over it. "This will do us no good if Inuyasha were to walk in on us either. And you know as well as I that he is restless at this time."

I sighed. He was right, like always. My silver dog pendant may be infused with the power to disguise Sesshomaru's scent on me, but if Inuyasha were to wake up, realize I'm gone, and come searching for me…that would not be good. There was a reason why we kept our relationship a secret, and a good chunk of that reason was Inuyasha. If he were to find out before me and Sesshomaru thought he could handle it, there would be hell to pay.

I glanced up at the sky. The moon had risen high into the sky, the stars shining bright. I sighed and leaned in closer to Sesshomaru, my eyes sliding closed. I'd have to leave soon and I really didn't want to.

"You need to go," Sesshomaru said in his baritone, almost like he had read my mind.

I nodded slowly. "I don't want to though," I said sadly. I clung tighter to him, begging fate that for just tonight, everything would be perfect and I wouldn't have to go anywhere. Unfortunately, fate hates my guts.

"Kagome!" I sighed. Inuyasha was awake and searching for me. Crap.

Sesshomaru stood and set me on my feet. He kissed me gently before putting his haori, armor, and swords on. I stared at Bakusaiga and smiled. I remember everything about the day Sesshomaru got it; the fear I felt when I almost lost him, the relief when he was alright, and the awe and joy at the sight of him gaining his arm and sword. That night was also the night he took me as his mate, secretly of course.

"Kagome! Where the hell are you!" Inuyasha yelled, his voice closer. I sighed again and went over to Sesshomaru. I threw my arms around him and hugged him tightly.

"I'm going to miss you," I whispered.

"Hn." The taiyoukai returned my embrace. He lifted my face and stared at me before putting his lips against mine. They were soft and gentle against mine. He pulled back and stroked my cheek. "Kagome, promise me something."

"Anything," I said, probably too quickly.

"Never forget that I will always be here," he said. "Never forget that you are mine to protect."

I nodded and smiled. "I won't Sessh. Ever."

Sesshomaru smiled gently before recomposing his face. "I must go. I love you."

"I love you too." The moment the words left my mouth, he was gone. I sighed and turned around to head back to camp. I started walking and soon ran smack into Inuyasha.

"There you are! Where the hell have you been wench!" he growled, crossing his arms.

I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. "I couldn't sleep so I went for a walk. Got a problem with that?"

"Yes! Naraku could be anywhere! You'll get yourself killed, wench!"

"I can handle myself, thank you very much! And I thought I told you not to call me wench!"

Inuyasha scoffed. "Keh, get over it. And you're a danger magnet!"

I growled, my hands fisted at my sides. "I am not!"

"Are too! How many times has Naraku or Sesshomaru tried to kill you!"

I kept my face composed, not wanting him to see the irony over Sesshomaru trying to kill me. That was definitely not the case anymore. "What does that have to do with anything! I'm much stronger than I was!"

"I don't care!" Inuyasha retorted. "You're still a weak human!"

"Inuyasha, SIT!" I screeched. The hanyou yelped and smacked into the ground. "Sit, sit, sit, sit!" I made sure to put him in a deep hole, making him groan, before storming back towards camp and snuggling into my sleeping bag with Shippo.