There's a place that I know. It's not pretty there and few have ever gone. If I show it to you now, will it make you run away?

InuYasha gazed up at the midnight sky. Stars twinkled as if to taunt him with their beauty. He wondered about those little winking things. Why did everyone love them so much? Sure, they were pretty and nice to look at. But why love something that will forever remain unattainable, unreachable?

It was the same thing that InuYasha had to remind himself when his thoughts turned to the one other unattainable thing in his life. She sat by the fire, rocking Shippo to sleep. He could hear her humming a soft tune, and he tuned in to that wondrous sound. He loved her voice, and as he watched her rock Shippo, he couldn't help but think about how amazing she was with children.

Could she ever be like that with our children, someday?

InuYasha immediately took that thought and stomped down on it. He couldn't be with her even if he wanted to. He came from a dark past and even now he was in a darkness he couldn't escape. Yes, she accepted that he was a hanyou. But his inner demon was very much capable of killing her, and she would have a death wish if that didn't scare her.

Or will you stay, even if it hurts, even if I try to push you out? Will you return?

And remind me who I really am; please remind me who I really am.

Kagome could feel InuYasha's gaze as she held Shippo in her arms. She ran her fingers through his hair and continued to hum softly. She watched InuYasha out of the corner of her eye as she gently laid Shippo down in her sleeping bag and tucked the blanket around him to keep him warm. With a soft smile, she stood and approached InuYasha, who continued to watch her as she neared him.

InuYasha thought of all the times that Kagome had come to his rescue emotionally, even after he'd pushed her away. There was the time when he'd practically thrown her down the well to save her life. But she came back to him, begging to stay at his side, which he selfishly allowed. All the times that he had made her feel so insecure and put her down, comparing her to Kikyo. She always came back in the end, comforting him with his issues and her understanding.

Everybody's got a dark side. Do you love me? Can you love mine? Nobody's a picture perfect, but we're worth it. You know that we're worth it. Will you love me? Even with my dark side?

Could she love him? It was a question that constantly plagued his thoughts. Every time he caught her watching him, he smiled inwardly. He would catch that indescribable look and it would make his heart pound a thousand drum beats in a minute.

With everything he'd done, with everything he would inevitably do in the future, why had she stayed for so long if she didn't feel something for him?

Could she love him, considering who he was?

Like a diamond from black dust,

it's hard to know what can become if you give up. So don't give up on me. Please remind me who I really am.

His biggest fear was that one day, she really would realize that he wasn't worth it. He knew, with every fiber of his being, that he wanted her near him night and day. He prayed that she didn't come to her senses. He prayed to kami and all the other gods that she never stopped believing in him and caring about him. He prayed she would always be there to keep him sane.

Everybody's got a dark side. Do you love me? Can you love mine? Nobody's a picture perfect, but we're worth it. You know that we're worth it. Will you love me? Even with my dark side?

"InuYasha, are you alright up there?" Kagome asked. He nodded.

"I'm fine," he replied. She smiled and his heart pounded like a hammer in his chest. He silently thanked kami that humans didn't have the heightened senses of hanyous.

"Are you hungry at all?" she asked him. "You didn't really eat with everyone," she pointed out. He noticed her bite her lip in her worry over his own health. It was completely adorable and he wanted to kiss those full lips until they were breathless.

"I said I'm okay, Kagome," he said with a chuckle and leapt down from his perch in his tree. He landed a mere foot away from her and reached out for her. She looked mildly surprised but happy as he pulled her into his embrace.

"Kagome," he whispered into her hair as he nuzzled the crook of her neck. She blushed profusely, the blood rushing to her cheeks and spreading throughout her complexion.

"InuYasha?" she murmured. She allowed her eyes to drift closed, simply enjoying this rare moment where InuYasha decided to really show her a more emotional and caring side of him.

Don't run away. Don't run away. Just tell me that you will stay. Promise me you will stay. Don't run away.

"Kagome," he whispered again. She sighed into his embrace and he stepped back slightly. "I'm sorry." Kagome gave him a confused look. It made him want to pull her tighter into his arms. Instead, though, he exhaled and smiled softly.

"I'm sorry for all the times that I've hurt you and let you down. I'm sorry for not being the right kind of guy for you, Kagome. I want to be. I always hope that you never realize that I'm not worth it," he said, finally allowing himself to get it off his haori clad chest. Kagome's eyes were as big as saucers, now, her chocolate brown eyes glistening with unshed tears. She reached up a hand and rested it against his cheek. He allowed her thumb to rub soothing circles into his tan skin.

"InuYasha, never believe you aren't worth it. You've always been worth it. You've messed up quite a bit, that's true," she said. He winced and she frowned. "But you've always made up for it, InuYasha. You've been there for me when I needed you the most, and I could never leave your side." she said softly. InuYasha eyed her lips.

"Kagome," he murmured, leaning in closer. He could hear her heart now. It matched his own in pace, sending chills through him. They were completely in sync.

"I'm afraid you'll leave me because I couldn't possibly survive without you. I love you, Kagome." he whispered. He heard her sharp intake of breath and he searched her eyes for any telltale signs of rejection, disgust, fear. Instead she gave him a breathtaking smile and closed the gap between them.

The kiss was slow, cautious, and sweet. It was simple, but lasted forever. When they parted, they both inhaled slowly and Kagome wrapped her arms around his neck.

"I have always loved you, InuYasha. I promise that I will stay, always. Nothing could ever possess me to run away from you." she murmured and he grinned before leaning in and recapturing her lips.