Presents to Receive

"I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know

Make my wish come true

All I want for Christmas

Is you"

- "All I Want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey

"Inuyasha, Kagome, you came."

For such a small person, his sister-in-law could certainly hug the stuffing out of you. Inuyasha nearly gasped for air as Rin flung herself at him, tightening her hold to a near death grip. He still managed a smile when she let him go to give Kagome an enthusiastic hug of her own. His fiancée took it all in stride.

"Hi Rin. We wouldn't miss this for the world." Kagome clapped her hands together in front of her face, eyes shining. "And the house just looks amazing. You look amazing."

Rin laughed, twirling in place before them to give them a full view of her dress. It was red velvet, with white trim, combining what Inuyasha guessed to be Mrs. Claus's frock with an elf's tunic. Leaving her shoulders bare and ending just above the knees, the dress made Rin look both childish and incongruously adult. The elf hat didn't help either. Inuyasha wondered what Rin had done to convince his half-brother to let her wear the outfit in front of a mass of soon-to-be very drunk males.

On second thought…no, he didn't want to know, because whatever blackmail Rin had used to manipulate Sesshomaru could only involve two things: work or sex. The former didn't interest him because it was Christmas and the last thing he wanted to worry about over the holidays was work. If the latter…sweet merry Christmas, no. Just no. Just the thought of his brother, Frosty the Snowman in demon form, engaging in coitus with his sugarplum fairy wife….

Oh god, he needed a drink.

"Inuyasha?" Kagome was worriedly tugging at his forelock and Inuyasha saw that both she and Rin were staring at him.

"Eggnog," he said abruptly. "I really need an eggnog right now." And taking his fiancée's hand in his, he tugged Kagome towards the buffet table and the large amounts of alcohol awaiting him.

Rin watched them go, shaking her head in puzzled bemusement. "Funny, that's exactly what Sesshomaru said after I told him about the milk." Laughing, she turned to greet her next guests.

Inuyasha had to hand it to Rin; the woman knew how to celebrate Christmas. After he had consumed enough eggnog to purge his mind of his half-brother's private life, he'd taken a good look around the house. Kagome had been right; the place looked amazing. There were lights everywhere, electric as well as real candles. Rin had managed to find actual holly and hung them from the ceiling. There was mistletoe hanging from discreet corners and an endless amount of ribbons, glitter and ornaments adorned every convenient surface. And somehow, she had managed to pull it off without descending into kitsch.

The crowning glory was, of course, a huge Christmas tree, decorated in red and gold, at the centre of the room. The golden star on its top nearly brushed the ceiling. Inuyasha and Kagome had retreated into a quiet corner for a moment of reprieve, taking in the decorations and the milling crowd of people. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Even Sesshomaru had cracked a smile or two upon catching sight of Rin entertaining some of the kids who had accompanied their parents. Looking at the two, Inuyasha didn't think it would take long for Rin to convince her husband it was time they had a few children of their own. Rin would be a great mom. Sesshomaru, well….Rin would be a great mom.

Kagome gave a soft sigh and leaned her head against his shoulder. Inuyasha put his arm around her shoulders, drawing her in just a little bit closer.

"Don't tell me you're bushed already. It's only ten."

She shook her head lightly without moving away from him. "No, it's not that. It's just," she gave another sigh. "I just love Christmas, you know."

He rolled his eyes at that. "Don't I ever. You've only been talking about it since November. I swear woman, you're more annoying than a Grinch rerun on the subject."

She elbowed him at that, muttering, "jerk" under her breath. Inuyasha protested the rough treatment, but was quick to pull her back to him.

Fishing out a small present from the pocket of his dress pants, he pressed it into Kagome's hands. "By the way, merry Christmas," and he quickly kissed her cheek.

Kagome gasped, then turned her big brown eyes on him. "But Inuyasha, we agreed not to exchange gifts this year."

"Keh, I figured what's Christmas without gifts, right?"

"But I don't have anything for you." She rolled the little gift nervously between her fingers, looking from it to him and back again.

"Just open it already, 'kay? We'll see after that." A gleam came into his eyes then that would have made Miroku proud. "I can think of a couple a ways you can make it up to me."

She laughed at that, but began to unwrap her present. Beneath the simple silver wrapping paper was a little box. Kagome opened it and a small sound escaped her, a mix between a gasp and a sob. One hand came to cover her mouth and tears began to form in her eyes.

"Inuyasha, this is…it's…I…"

"Just say yes, Kagome."

She nodded, then managed, "Yes. A thousand times yes. Oh, Inuyasha…" This time, she really did sob.

He took the box from her hands and taking her hand into his own, placed a small silver and gold ring on her finger.

"You're the best gift I could ever ask for. Merry Christmas, Kagome."