"His name was only four syllables, but she made it seem much longer."

Dedicated to SugarRos. You've been a big sister, an inspiration, and a great friend to me for so many years. Thank you.

Disclaimer: The only things I own that are Inuyasha related are: a wall scroll, three dvds, two mangas, and a whole lot of dreams and memories.

What's In A Name
Author: Isleofsolitude

He didn't know which parent named him, but from time to time he wonders about their intentions. The first part of his name is dog. He'll watch the dogs in the village—the stray ones, who scrounge for food and run from humans. There are also the working ones, who guard livestock and humans, who sniff out prey for their masters. He doesn't have a problem with dogs, but even he can't brush off the irony of literally being partly named after one.

The second part of his name is up for interpretation. Numerous people call say demon. And while that may be one way to view his name, he prefers the other meaning. "Forest spirit". That's fitting, for how long he was in the damn forest pinned to a tree, for how long he was walked in a forest looking for the damn shards.

Dog demon. Dog forest spirit. Inuyasha. Four syllables, two characters, one word. That was his name. And he was fine with that.

And then Kagome came along, and brought with her an annoying habit of making his name so much more.

In the beginning, it was "Inuyasha-stop walking so fast and berating me for being human and I'm sorry I broke the jewel but it was an accident are you listening to me?!"

And then it began to be "Inuyasha-thank you for protecting me, I really thought I was toast, but you really surprised me."

After the monk joined, he began to hear "Inuyasha you're making friends stop being so grumpy you're still important and I know you're secretly happy so why don't you show it?"

When he was fighting, his name was either "You're going to get hurt please be careful!" or "I'm panicking because apparently I'm being attacked and I don't know how to handle it!" He regarded both as pretty important, but that second one always made him move faster and strike stronger.

When he was about to see Kikyo or had just come back from talking with her, his heart sunk when, in just four syllables, she would softly murmur, "I know you love her and I know you care about me, but this is heartbreaking for me, I'm so glad you came back though, but for how much longer?"

When Kagome was angry, his name involved a few cusswords he wouldn't think about using.

When she was worried or stressed, his name stretched into silences and pleas for reassurance.

He loved his name when he held her. It was "I'm so glad you're here" and "I love you" or "Please never leave me, I need you."

The three years she didn't say his name just about killed him.

When she came back, when her eyes met his, when he helped her out of the well, his name was "I'm back for good, I'm so sorry it took me this long, I am a horrible person how could I do this to you, are you ok?" and later, when they were alone it was "Do you forgive me? Do you still love me?"

When they moved together that night, under the blanket and in the flickering moonlight of that little hut he built for when she came back, it was "I still love you, I'm yours forever" and "I missed you so much".