Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha

Chapter 1: Back Home

I held on for dear life to the shaking seat as another tremor shook the helicopter.

"You should really open your eyes now Miss. Ōshima Island looks gorgeous from this altitude. If you look towards the north you'll see..."

I cursed under my breath at the insisting pilot and kept my eyes tightly closed. Once again I tried to block the noise around me and focus on taking deep breaths, listening closely to the air coming in and out of my body. In... Hold for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10... Out... I managed to calm down my mind a bit, although my body betrayed me and still shook frequently.

After what seemed like an eternity, but couldn't have been more than minutes, the tremors lessened. I didn't loosen my firm grip on the seat but, when the pilot urged me to look at the small island that was our destination, I found the courage to open my eyes.

And there it was.

The volcanic island was a beautiful green patch of land surrounded by the dark blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Had it been winter, the island's green appearance would have been tinted red by the blooming flowers of the camellia plants that covered most of the island. Mt. Miyatsuka stood tall and proud at its center.

The tiny island was home to about 350 people. Most families had lived in Toshima Island for many generations, as it was common practice to pass on the family business to the youth. Even at this time and age it was only a lucky few who managed to get out and see the world. My family had been lucky.

I sighed. How long had it been since we left? Six... no, seven years. So much had happened in that time... As the helicopter started its descent, the pilot spoke to me again. This time I humored him—I didn't want to follow that train of thought.

"Have you been to Toshima Island before, Miss?"

"I was born there."

"Really? And you are going back? I thought people there fought to get out!" He laughed loudly, his beer belly shaking in tune with his chuckles. "I'm just kidding, Miss. I hope I didn't offend you."

"It's okay." I knew the truth of this well enough to not be offended. "I am just going to spend the summer."

"That's good. 'Tis a great place to visit. And to eat!" He patted his big belly and laughed loudly again.

The helicopter shook just then, and for a second I thought that the vibrations from the shaking belly had caused the sudden turbulence. I smiled to myself briefly before resuming my breathing exercises. We were beginning our descent and the wind was unforgiving.

"We'll be there in a few minutes. It might be a bit bumpy."

"Great..." I squeezed my eyes shut and counted.


I got into my rental car to drive the few minutes to the house. I would return it and rent a bike the next day. A car is not necessary in Toshima Island unless you are going up to Mt. Miyatsuka or need to carry lots of stuff around. I was carrying lots of baggage—literally and figuratively.

I looked out at the people on the street, trying to identify old friends and neighbors. Although I knew most people by sight, it wasn't until I got closer to the area of the island that I had lived in that I was able to assign names to the familiar faces.

One of the things that the inhabitants of Toshima Island liked about their home was that everyone knew everyone. Most said it was because of the strong feelings of community and safety, but they were not fooling anyone. Gossiping was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this tiny island. I could see people staring at me as I drove by.

I didn't see any of the people that I would have liked to see. I hadn't kept in touch with my childhood friends—I was too busy thinking that I had the world wrapped around my finger—but I selfishly hoped that, as it tended to happen, some of them had stayed in the island.

A few minutes later I arrived at the house, and it shocked me how much it had suffered over the years. It had already been very old by the time I was born—every time something was fixed, something new broke. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful house and Gramps had always made sure that it looked its best. It had been a house that others envied. Any chance the neighbors got to come in and look around—town meetings, parties—they took. This house had always made me feel like a celebrity.

Now, however, I could see from the car that the walls had lost their color, the paint was coming out in big chunks, the wooden steps to the house were fairly slanted, and the old garden had become a jungle of weeds that had taken over everything. I was glad that a concerned neighbor had contacted us about a year ago after part of the roof had started sinking. We were able to hire someone to fix that area as well as the rest of the roof before any cave-ins had occurred. Thanks to this, the biggest problems I had to deal with inside the house were spiders and unimaginable amounts of dust.

After assessing the rest of the house, and sweeping a small area of the main room to place my baggage on, I brought all my stuff into the house. Then I went up to what had been my room.

It was dusty, but otherwise exactly the same as it had been; the light green walls; the big wooden desk and the shelves above it, both covered in books; the queen size bed with the giant fluffy pillows... I went to open the closet. It wasn't very big, but I would only be needing summer clothes anyway. The others I would place in my mother's closet. I moved on to the bay windows and looked out.

The house sat higher on the hill than other nearby homes, so I could see a bit of the ocean behind the one right across the street. Looking down I could see familiar neighbors working on their yards, taking advantage of today's nice weather. There were also people biking and walking by, most of whom slowed their pace to curiously stare at the rental car in front of the house they knew to have been abandoned for years.

I opened the windows to air the room out and smiled; I had climbed in and out of them so many times. Inuyasha, being the daredevil that he was, had figured out how to do it when we were eleven. I had been so scared the first time that I fell from the last branch and would have broken something if he hadn't awkwardly caught me. We were pretty scratched up, but scratches were easier to lie about than a broken skull. I wonder if you're still around... I thought.


After putting my clothes away and cleaning up for a couple of hours, I decided to get some groceries. I took an old basket from the kitchen, dusted it out, and went out to face my past.

The store was about 10 minutes away from the house on foot. As I walked there, I noticed that things had barely changed. The houses looked a bit older, as did their owners, but other than that it was the same. I liked that. I needed my life to have some of its happiness back.

The neighbors acknowledged me with smiles, slight bows, and 'good mornings', but I could tell that they were dying to figure out who I was for sure. Their suspicions were probably correct—I had my mother's black, wavy hair and my father's blue-gray eyes—but they were too polite to ask for confirmation. For now they would have to consult with their other 349 pairs of ears.

I was a few feet away from the store entrance when a familiar-looking woman came out. For a moment I was tempted to turn around and walk away, not because I didn't want to see Mrs. Tanaka, but because I felt very awkward. It had been eight years, and I hadn't kept in touch, why was I shocked to feel this way? After she saw me, Mrs. Tanaka also paused for a second, looking surprised, and then she quickly approached and hugged me tightly.

"Kami, is it truly you?" she stepped back and looked at me. I smiled. "It is... Kagome dear! You have grown so much. And you've become even more beautiful than your mother!" she pulled me into a hug again. When she pulled away she was so excited that she even clapped her hands quickly several times. It made me chuckle.

"Mrs. Tanaka, it's so nice to see you! How are you doing?"

"I'm healthy as a bull!" She tapped her chest with a fist and straightened her posture, making me chuckle again. She had always been comical. Sango had hated it and I'd loved it. "What are you doing here dear? Sango and I thought that we would never see you again."

"I'm staying for the summer. I will be fixing the house."

"That's wonderful dear! It made me sad to see such a beautiful house go to waste. I'm sure you and your husband will have a lot of fun fixing it up. And your friends will be so happy to hang out with you again!"

I groaned internally. Here we go. At least I trusted Mrs. Tanaka to keep quiet. She loved to gossip, but not about people she loved.

"Hojo and I have split up. The divorce has already been finalized." I smiled, trying to reduce the amount of incoming pity. I had had too much in the past couple of months. "It was a mutual agreement, very civilized. We've stayed friends."

"I see..." Mrs. Tanaka paused, looking in deep in thought for a few seconds. "Well, the way I see it, it's truly his loss. You are a gorgeous and intelligent woman, and now you can do whatever the hell you want with your life. Eat, drink, fix a house, flirt... Thinking about this is actually making me a bit jealous. So young and full of opportunities!"

I laughed. I had missed Mrs. Tanaka.

"So, how is Sango?" I asked.

"She's well. She moved out a couple of years after graduating high school and has been living with Ayame since then. They have both been working as waitresses at the tavern." Mrs. Tanaka rolled her eyes. She had probably expected Sango to help out at the family's vegetable and fruit store. "She has recently started taking some courses online and saving money to move Kami knows where with that boyfriend of hers."

"Still Miroku?"

"Surprisingly, yes. Somehow they are perfect for each other. I'll never understand." She paused and frowned. "She's probably off somewhere doing naughty things with him right now."

"Kagome?"

I turned around towards the melodic voice that I knew so well and smiled at the beautiful woman in front of me. She didn't look one day over thirty-, although she was about ten years older. Her long, straight, black hair shined, and her big, honest brown eyes were still tinted by the sadness of losing a loved one. Nonetheless, her smile would always be able to brighten even the worst of days. I had always been jealous of her beauty. And how I had loved her. She always was, and still is, my mother's best friend, and she was like a second mother to me. I don't know what we would have done if she hadn't been there after what happened to dad.

"Hi Izayoi." I smiled at her, feeling like a little girl again.

"My lovely girl." She approached me slowly, her eyes watery, and placed her hands on either side of my face. "Look at you all grown up. The pictures your mother sent me don't do you justice." She pulled me into a hug.

"My mom and I have missed you." I said. My eyes were getting watery too.

"You two are going to make me cry, and that's the last thing I want to do in front of Mrs. Kobayashi over there." exclaimed Mrs. Tanaka, moving her head towards said woman.

"Your mother told me you might be coming on her last letter, but I wasn't sure whether it would happen in the end." said Izayoi.

"I needed to relax and have some of the good times back."

Izayoi nodded. She and my mom had kept in touch by sending each other letters once or twice a month, so I was sure that she already knew about the divorce. I was glad about that.

"Well, Inuyasha is going to be elated. I didn't want to tell anyone that you might be coming in case your plans changed," she looked at Mrs. Tanaka apologetically, "so he doesn't know anything."

"I'm really looking forward to seeing him." In fact, he was the friend I was most looking forward to seeing. I was so relieved that he was still around. I had feared I wouldn't to see him again.

Inuyasha had been my best friend for as long as I'd lived on the island. Our mothers had been best friends since they went to school, so we knew each other from the beginning. We played together as children almost everyday and, once the differences between boys and girls became more defined and important to everyone, I stuck with him and the other boys. I didn't want to spend my free time sitting down and talking while the boys had fun playing soccer, climbing trees... Yes, I was kind of a tomboy. Once I got a bit older, however, I became best friends with Sango too. She had been one of the girly girls, but when she started dating Miroku at 14 and hanging out with us, she realized that she had a bit of a tomboy in her as well. I liked this about her, and the fact that she had some girlishness in her helped me a lot when I began caring a bit more about my appearance and the possibility of seeing boys as more than buddies.

"Can you come to the party tonight?" Izayoi asked.

"What party?"

"You didn't tell her Kazue?"

"I was still catching up with her when you arrived." Mrs. Tanaka replied. Then, she turned to me. "It's Kohaku's birthday tomorrow, but since he wants to spend it with his friends at the beach, we are throwing him a party at home today. Sango, Inuyasha, and Miroku will be there for sure, and maybe other old friends of yours. We would all love it if you came."

"Thank you, I will definitely be there." I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and shy about the prospect of seeing so many people at once. It was truly silly of me considering how close we had all been. But I have changed, and they probably have too. I thought. What if we can't go back to what it used to be? On the other hand, this way it would be like ripping out the band-aid. "How old will Kohaku be? Twenty-one?"

"Yes. It's hard to believe, but yes." For a second, Mrs. Tanaka looked small and lonely rather than her loud and lively self.

Izayoi moved to stand next to Mrs. Tanaka and put an arm around her." The party will be at my house at six," she mentioned, "out in the garden." This didn't surprise me. Izayoi's house was big and its garden was even bigger. Many birthdays, including a couple of mine, had been celebrated there.

"I hate to leave you so soon, but we need to finish getting things set up." Izayoi came towards me and pulled me into a hug once again. "I'm so glad you are back my lovely girl." She pulled away. "I will see you in a couple of hours."

I smiled and nodded. Mrs. Tanaka then hugged me as well and less than a minute later they were both gone.


This was ridiculous. I didn't remember ever caring this much about my looks when I lived here. So far I had spent almost forty- minutes looking through my clothes for something to wear. It was just a birthday party. What the hell was wrong with me? I would most likely know everyone there. Or at least I used to know them... I sighed. This whole being back thing was probing to be more emotionally taxing than I had expected. For the first time ever I was scared of not fitting in. Me. A twenty-four year old who had always been the opposite of shy and who'd always cared little about what others thought.

I tried to bring back a bit of the old Kagome after this realization, but the look didn't feel right. So, in the end, still feeling nervous and idiotic, I decided to do the grown up thing and be myself. I put on a slate-blue dress that brought out the color of my eyes. It was one of my favorites. It was tied at the neck and had a bodice with three vertical strips of lace running down, which met a similar strip of lace that went around my hips. From there came out a full flare skirt that went down a bit farther than my mid thigh. To top it all, it had an open back.

Kami, I was going to stand out. It wasn't like girls here didn't show skin—some of my old classmates liked to leave little to the imagination—but people were well used to them by now. I would shock those who remembered me as being a tomboy. Looking at the clock, and realizing that it was too late to change my mind, I put on some cute sandals with a golden stripe across the toes and another that run up to and around the ankle. I decided to leave on my tiny pearl earrings and proceeded to quickly put my hair up into a messy bun. I grabbed a small, golden purse and put my keys and such inside before walking out the door.


I could hear music and voices getting louder as I got closer to the Oshiro household. Instead of going directly around the back to the garden, I went to the front door and rang the bell. Mrs. Tanaka opened.

"Kagome, there you are! Come in, come in." She ushered me into the foyer and closed the door behind me. "Everyone is out in the garden."

"Yes, I figured..." I said, unable to hide my embarrassment. "I just needed a minute before going out. I am not feeling that confident."

"How is that possible? You look beautiful dear, and they'll love to have you back."

"I haven't been like this with them." I pointed at my outfit. "And they might be angry that I didn't keep in touch... which would be understandable."

"Nonsense. We've all missed you." She put an arm around my shoulders and started leading me towards the back of the house. "When I look at you I see the same smart, fun, friendly girl that everyone loved so much. You are just bit older, like everyone else, although unlike me you are even more beautiful than before." She paused. "Things have changed, yes, but that's the way of life. Just take advantage of what you've learned over the years and make yourself a better future."

"Thanks, Mrs. Tanaka." I smiled, still feeling nervous but at least somewhat less idiotic.

"Now, let's go out and have you dazzle them. They were looking a bit bored last time I checked."

"Dazzle them?" I chuckled.

"You heard me."

We walked out the back of the house and began walking through the large back garden, where the guests had gathered. There were more than I had expected. There were a few tables with food, as well as benches where a large part of the older guests had congregated. Towards the right some younger people had created an improvised space for dancing.

"How many guests?" I asked.

"About fifty." She sighed. "I wanted it to be just close friends and family, but you remember how some of the neighbors are. They invite you to their family parties, to which usually you don't even want to go, and then they expect you to invite them to yours." She shook her head towards a specific group of older women. "We might have to stop a few times. Your friends are hiding all the way in the back and you're a novelty."

Mrs. Tanaka led me through the garden, farther and farther towards the back. As she had anticipated, we had to stop many times as guests recognized me and asked after my mother and Gramps. Most of the older men and women were wearing traditional kimonos, and I could tell by their expressions that they were a bit scandalized by my outfit. In any case they were polite, and a lot of them praised my plans to fix the house. Then, while talking to an old friend of my Gramps, I finally spotted my old friends over his shoulder.

I first recognized Sango, who screamed as her boyfriend Miroku came at her from behind and tickled her. She was a bit taller than I remembered, but she still kept her long, dark brown hair up in a high ponytail. She slapped Miroku on the arm, trying to look upset. However, when Miroku grabbed a hold of her waist and managed to kiss her, she smiled and gave up, kissing him back. Sitting on a bench to their left I recognized Koga, Ginta and Hakkaku, some of mine and Inuyasha's old playmates. The last two were animatedly talking to Eri, Ayumi, and Yuka, Sango's friends from before she dated Miroku and joined our gang. Koga was sitting there quietly, drinking something and looking bored. I looked around, thankful that Mrs. Tanaka had taken over the conversation with Gramps' old friend. No luck. I turned my head here and there, but still nothing.

As I looked back towards my friends I noticed Koga staring at me. I quickly turned my head away, surprised. I pretended to be interested in the conversation taking place in front of me, but after a few seconds I looked at him again. He seemed to be checking me out, his eyes clearly focused somewhere below my shoulders. Then, suddenly, he looked up and met my eyes. Here it goes, I thought.

I gathered my courage and this time I didn't turn away, smiling at him instead. He smiled back, grinning, seeming to think that I was interested in him. Then, in the few seconds that followed, Koga's expression changed from flirty, to confused, to deep in thought, to surprise—but more of the kind brought on by seeing a ghost. He blinked a couple of times and stood up, walking towards me.

"Dude, can you bring me a drink when you come back?" Miroku shouted after him. Koga didn't seem to hear him. He kept walking until he was standing right in front of me.

"Hey there Koga." I paused and waited for him to say something. He seemed like he wanted to speak, but didn't. "It's been a while. How are you?"

"Yes... Fine..." He looked at me up and down. "Holy shit, Kagome. You look... different."

"I guess." I looked down at myself, feeling awkward.

"Don't get me wrong, you look very good!" He put his hands in front of him defensively.

"Oh?" This was a conversation that I did not expect. Why was Koga being so awkward? We'd never had this kind of trouble communicating before. "Thank you. You look good too!" I smiled. He... blushed? What the...?

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"

I jumped, startled. Sango came fast and loud, pushing Koga out of the way and surrounding me tightly with her arms. She was stronger than she seemed.

"Sango... you're hurting me and... I can't... breathe."

"You deserve it for at least a few more seconds." She lived up to her word. By the time she let me go I was sure I would be getting some bruises.

"What the hell are you doing here?! When did you get back?!" She hugged me again.

"Sango you're going to kill her..." I recognized Miroku's voice. "We've missed her as well?"

She turned away quickly. "You just want your chance to do your thing!"

"Sango, my dear. You wound me!" Miroku stepped in front of Sango and hugged me. "Kagome, we have missed you dearly! And look at you! So many curv—ouch! Sango I didn't touch her!"

"If you had been a cartoon your eyes would have been sticking out!" Her right hand was in a fist, and Miroku's arm was red where Sango had punched it.

I laughed. They weren't mad at me, and they were welcoming with open arms! And this whole scene with Sango and Miroku... It was as if I had never left. In just a couple of minutes my world had changed again, and I couldn't wait to see what was coming up around the corner.


After saying hello to everyone else and answering countless catching up questions, which briefly but unavoidably included my divorce, Sango realized my unease and led me away to the table with the drinks.

"Thank you for that."

"No problem. I imagine it must not be easy for you to talk about that stuff."

"It was not a bad divorce. Not at all. We remained friends and everything." I poured myself some fruity drink. "It's just... ah..."

"You don't need to say if you don't want."

"But I want to. I hadn't felt comfortable enough to talk about this with anyone else. " I paused and thought carefully about what I wanted to say. We walked to an emptier area of the garden and sat on a bench. "I don't feel sad about getting a divorce. I know it was a good idea. Hojo and I liked each other a lot but... there just wasn't any passion, you know. We were more friends than husband and wife. We were lucky that we both realized this and had the sense to end it, rather than keep living a lie." I took a deep breath. "The thing that makes it hard is that... I feel like I've disappointed everyone."

"Disappointed? How?" Sango was listening intently, looking serious and focused.

"My family worked so hard to get me and Souta out of here so that we could do something more with our lives. They left their friends, their home... all for us. Then I started thinking that I was special, even better than everyone else, and ignored all of you guys." I looked at her, embarrassed. "I thought my life was a freaking Hollywood movie, with the handsome man with lots of money who wanted to marry me, the job of my dreams. I didn't think twice about saying 'yes'. I didn't listen to anyone who tried to advise me. Now it's four years later, I'm divorced, I have no friends, and I hate my job." I run my hands through my hair, feeling pathetic but somewhat relieved to get all of these feelings out of my chest.

"Well, you don't have to worry about the not having friends part, because that's not true. Here we all love you, and we can't wait to get hammered with you again." I smiled. Now, I understand why you might think you've disappointed everyone, but you haven't because all we want is for you to be happy. You've made a mistake, yes, but who hasn't? If you let people make your choices for you it wouldn't be your life. You've had good times during your marriage, right?"

"Yes." I admitted.

"It wasn't a horrible mistake then, was it? Now you can move on and use what you've learned to improve your future. And I'm sure you can get another job easily. You're smart and, Kami, look at you! What happened to the tomboy that I knew and loved?" She punched me playfully on the arm, which probably meant another bruise.

"She grew up, I guess. Better late than never. Although I can't promise I'll say no to everything the boys propose. By the way," I grinned, anticipating Sango's reaction. "when providing support for a friend you and your mom sound alike."

"What?!... Don't tell me that! I still have to forgive you for ignoring me!"

"I thought you were still my friend."

"I am, which is why I'm giving you a chance at all to be forgiven."

"I see."

"Letting me borrow that dress might help the process."

"Done."

"See? We are almost back to almost being okay." This time I punched her in the arm.

"Speaking of being okay, where is Inuyasha? Izayoi said he would be here but I couldn't see him anywhere."

"He's picking someone up from the ferry. He'll be here soon."

"Who is he—?"

"Sango, stop keeping Kagome from us!" Miroku interrupted.

"Fine, fine... But you keep your distance." They started walking back towards the group.

"I'll be right back. I need to use the bathroom."

"You better not leave again!" Sango yelled, pointing a finger at me. I brought my hands up defensively.


The bathroom on the bottom floor was occupied, so I went upstairs to the one next to Inuyasha's room. It was just as I remembered. I picked up the Old Spice deodorant bar. He still uses it, I thought. I'd always loved how he smelled with it. I wonder who he's picking up?

On my way back down, the door to Inuyasha's room caught my eye. Had it been open before? Curiosity got the best of me, and I began walking towards it.

I glanced through the half-opened door and saw most of the black couch on which we'd hanged out so many times. Once closer I noticed there were some clothes scattered on top of it. I wonder if he came to get something while I was in the ba...

Standing a couple of feet from the door, I suddenly heard some movement coming from within the room. Inuyasha walked over to the couch wearing only black jeans. He looked through the shirts laying on it.

I stood frozen. This Inuyasha was not the lanky boy I left eight years ago. He had always been a handsome guy but now... I could not stop staring at his muscular upper body and at how it moved as he searched through his clothes. Something or someone must have made a sound, because he turned towards the door and saw me standing there like an idiot.

"Kags?"

It took me a second or two to respond, as I was a bit affected by the sudden view of his six pack and of those lines that go down to...

"Yes! Yes, it's me. Hi." I looked up and waved awkwardly, hoping my staring hadn't been too noticeable.

Inuyasha smiled and came quickly towards me, dropping the shirt he had been holding. He pulled me into a hug and lifted me up as if I weighted nothing. I felt myself blush as I felt his bare naked body against me. He spun us around a few times before putting back down on my feet and holding me at arms length.

"What are you doing here?!"

"I'm back for the summer."

"Seriously?! That's great!"

"Yes. I'll be fixing the house. How are you?" Keep looking at his face Kagome. Stop acting like a hormonal teenager.

"I'm good, I guess. I've missed you." He stroked my cheek with his thumb. "You look amazing, by the way. This look is definitely an improvement over your old broken jeans."

"I loved those jeans!"

"I have to admit they still looked good on you despite the ripping. But this looks even better."

"Thanks. And I've missed you too. It might not have seemed liked it, but I truly did. I'm very sorry I didn't keep in touch."

"Quit it, Kags. This submissive behavior doesn't fit you at all."

"Fine. But let me say something first." He nodded. I looked down at my fidgety hands.

"I can't express how much I hate myself for turning you away from my life. You've always been there for me and I took you for granted. Even when I needed you I found excuses... I wanted to separate myself from this place as much as possible, even if that meant giving you up." I felt my eyes begin to tear up, but I made myself look up at him. He's definitely not getting his old Kagome back. "I'm so sorry Inuyasha. I hope you know how much you've always meant to me. Even if I was a stupid and selfish and—"

I didn't get to finish the sentence. In a flash, Inuyasha had placed one hand on my hip and another behind my neck, pushing me back against and closing the door. A second later his lips were on mine, his body flushed against mine.

If I had had time to think about the situation, I might have stopped the kissing to try to figure out what the hell was happening; why my best friend was doing this out of the blue. However, the feel of his lips molding against mine, and then his tongue... My hands moved up to surround his neck, and I tried to get my body even closer to his. He moaned in response and tightened his hold on my neck, then moved the hand on my hip so that his arm could surround my waist.

I don't know how long we kissed for, but when Inuyasha pulled away I knew it definitely hadn't been long enough. I couldn't open my eyes; I was in a haze and my knees felt weak. Neither of us let go of the other, and I felt him place his forehead against mine.

"I've wanted to do this for so long." He whispered to me.

"Um?" I still couldn't think straight. I felt drunk.

Inuyasha chuckled. "I'm not mad at you, so please don't feel bad." I felt his thumb stroking my cheek. I nodded. Wonderful seconds passed.

"I'm so sorry Kagome." He said, sounding the opposite of his playful self.

I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He was looking away and and clenching his jaw.

"Inuyasha?"

It was a long moment before he finally turned to look at me. He looked distraught.

"I'm engaged."