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Kagome was sitting under a tree on top of a small, round hill. She had a good view on a river down the slope of the hill and at her hanyou fishing. The day was warm and there was no need to run fast back to the village. The young miko was pretty sure Inuyasha woukdn't mind changing the lunch break into a afternoon-and-night camp here, in the wildness. There are no little girls pulling at his ears, Kagome giggled to hersself as she stole an another glance at the lovely view of the area around the hill - it was surrounded by woods, only the field between her and the river was covered in grass and flowers instead of trees and bushes.

She noticed that her companion finished fishing and was shortening the distance between himself and their little camp, so she quickly turned to the fire she was supposed to maintain. It took Inuyasha a few minutes to reach the camp, but when he finally did he had his catch gutted and already on sticks. Kagome was thankful she didn't see him prepare their meal to be cooked - after all this time it was still unsettling to see him use his claws instead of a knife. He knelt beside her.

"Say, Inuyasha..." she started, watching him pushing the sticks between rocks around the fire, positioning the fishes above the flames. Golden eyes looked at her from behind his bangs. "Can we stay here for tonight?"

"Why?" he tilted his head, much like a curious dog.

"Well..." the girl dropped her gaze and bit her bottom lip. "It's our first trip since I returned and as much as I like to be around Sango and the rest I... I'd like to spend some time alone with you and..." she looked up into the cloudless sky, blushing. "Stargaze?" she finished awkwardly.

"Keh, okay," he shrugged and returned to his work, bowing his head more than it was necessary, but Kagome caught a glimpse of red on his cheeks before he did so. Silence stretched between them and Kagome was desperately thinking about a topic to talk about, anything to focus on. She almost sighed in relief when she saw his ears twitch.

"Do the twins pull them often?" she asked and reached to the top of his head to rub the ear closest to her. A small smile curled the corners of her lips upwards as she saw him bow his head, leaning in her touch.

She didn't expect an elaborate answer, she was pretty sure she was going to get a "keh" or probably a complain about the kids or their parents. She got a low, meancing growl. She gasped and frowned as he jerked his head away, freeing his ear from her grip.

A part of her was expecting to see blood red eyes and jagged stripes on his cheeks, because the growling didn't stop - it grew louder and deeper with every second. Yet Inuyasha's face wasn't changed. She caught a glimpse of a deep scowl when he turned his head and opened her mouth to ask what was wrong.

"Oi, Kagome!" the miko sighed as she heard a familiar voice. A second later Kouga crouched beside her - a part of her wondered if he instictively chose to put her between himself and the growling inu-hanyou - with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. "My woman returned to me at last!"

"She... Isn't... Your woman, fucker!" came from her other side, Kagome could hear Inuyasha shift his position, ready to jump between her and the wolf demon. She had to do something and do it quick, unless she wanted Inuyasha sat or Kouga dead.

"It's nice to see you too, Kouga," she started and reached to grasp Inuyasha's hand. She didn't fool herself thinking she could actually stop him like this, but figured out physical contact could ease his anger a little. "So... How is everyone?"

Kouga's smile didn't dim a bit. He opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted when two wolf demons ran into the camp, panting and stumbling.

"Hi, sis!" Ginta waved his hand and sank to the ground panting.

"Kouga! Why didn't you wait for us? You knew we wanted to say hello as much as you did!" the third wolf complained, squatting beside him.

"I can't wait for you forever," Kouga snorted. The miko was still looking at his kinsmen, but didn't move to their side. She was pretty sure the only thing keeping Inuyasha unmoving was her hand and the threat of a 'sit' pinning him to the ground before he could reach Kouga. She stole a glance at him and found him glaring at the wolf demon, obviously looking for a chance to tear his throat behind her back.

"Inuyasha," she whispered and tightened her grip a little. "Let me handle this, okay?" her words made him tense even more, then relax a bit, his growl slowly fading into silence as he looked deep into her eyes. He gave the smallest of nods and Kagome smiled at him happily. It was good to know he trusted her.

"Kouga," she turned to face the wolf youkai with a polite expression on her face. "You know I can't go with you, right? You have a wife already."

"Oh, Ayame?" Kouga shrugged. "Don't worry, I can make you my second wife."

Hakkaku and Ginta lifted their heads in the same time, quite shocked at this statement. Inuyasha only moved closer to his miko.

"A second wife? I don't want to be a second wife and I doubt Ayame would like the idea either," Kagome frowned and raised her hand when she saw the prince opening his mouth to reply. "Besides... Hakkaku and Ginta are your brothers, right?" the youkai nodded, frowning as he was trying to figure out where she was going. "And I'm their sister. That makes us siblings."

"But..." Kouga started.

"And the most important reason is that I don't want to be your wife. If you continue to call me your woman and stuff I'll assume you're trying to annoy Inuyasha... And I'll not stop him," she smiled inwardly at the various reactions her words inwoke in the men around the fire. "We're friends, but I am tired of you two fighting."

"Ya heard her. Now get lost," Kagome wasted a second to recognize the emotion in his voice, it was amusement. Mixed with pride and joy. Ginta and Hakkaku were still staring at the trio before their eyes.

"You can't order me around!" Kouga growled at him. Inuyasha growled back, louder.

"Don't you have a nose, puny wolf cub? Your mate is on her way here. I guess you want to stay around to tell her you wanted to take a second wife," Inuyasha's growl changed into a rumble as Kouga and, after him, his kinsmen, started to sniff the air. Kouga's face paled visibly. "She'd be thrilled."

Kagome couldn't hold back a small chuckle as she saw the expression on Kouga's face when he finished scenting the air. In ten seconds the hilltop was quiet and empty again, only a miko and a hanyou sitting by the fire, chuckling as they were admiring the landscape adorned with forms of three wolf youkai running in opposite direction of the mountains.