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Always Be There

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Kagome sighed, setting her glass of wine on the table as she stood from the couch, slippered feet padding across the hardwood floor. Halfway across the living room the knock at the door sounded again. 


“I’m coming, I’m coming.” She mumbled to herself as she pulled her chunky grey knitted cardigan tighter around herself before opening the door. 


An irritated looking Inuyasha stood on the other side of the door, leather jacket folded over one arm, a black v-neck fitting snugly over his muscular form and dark jeans a little low on his hips. His long black hair hung loosely down his back and his free hand was raised as if to knock again. 


“Inuyasha?” Kagome questioned. “Don’t you look like a ray of sunshine. What are you doing here?” She left the door open and made her way back into her living room.


He followed her inside, shutting the door behind him. “Sorry I didn’t call first. I should have, I had forgotten you had a date tonight until I was already here. You’re back early, is he still here?” He questioned, glancing down the hallway towards her bedroom while tossing his jacket on the back of a chair. 


Kagome snorted, throwing herself down onto the couch and picking back up her wine glass. “It’s just me. Let’s just say that the blind date did not go well.”


Inuyasha cringed, sitting down beside her on the couch. “I’m sorry, what happened?”


“Well… It started out super amazing. I was sitting there at the table, sipping some wine when I saw him come into the restaurant. He turned my direction, saw my face and walked right back out. It felt really good, let me tell you, real confidence booster, some guy that doesn’t even know me sees my face and leaves. Didn’t realize I was that ugly,” she scoffed. “I mean none of the other villagers have chased me down the street with pitchforks yet.” Rolling her eyes she took a large gulp of wine. “I have got to stop letting Sango try to set me up, I’ve told her over and over that I’m not interested but she’s worse than my mother with the nagging. Can’t spend anytime with her without her talking about the next guy she wants to set me up with.” 


Inuyasha stood from his place beside her and went to the kitchen; he came back a moment later with a beer in his hand before sitting back down beside her. 


“What about you? Aren’t you supposed to be at Kikyo’s?” She questioned him. 


“Ugh.” He let out a loud sigh and took a swig from his bottle. “We got into a fight, I decided I’d just leave before I got kicked out.”


“Wasted your whole night with her huh? What did you fight about?”


“I asked her on a date. To go to the symphony next weekend.”


“Ah. I see. Well I take it that she said no and then…?” Kagome set her empty glass on the table, turning her attention back to him. 


“I asked her what the big deal was, that I was just trying to do something romantic. She said that I know the rules. Just a lot of that back and forth. And instead of caving, saying I was sorry and just staying the night like I normally would, I just decided to leave. She was screaming after me, asking where I was going. I just turned around and yelled back, telling her that I would see myself out before she kicks me out in the morning.”


“Well I wish I could say I’m sorry about your fight, but I’m glad you held your ground and left. She needs to know you’re serious about what you want. Buuuuuut… you’re missing out on your night with her. You won’t get to spend time with her till next month. Is that what you really want?” Kagome raised a questioning brow at him. 


Inuyasha threw his head back against the couch and closed his eyes. “Nooo.” He whined. “I mean, I obviously want to see her and spend time with her. But I just… Ugh. I just wish I could see her more. I want more than one night a month, you know? I want to be able to go over during the day and not be expected to wake up before the sun comes up to leave. Is that too much to ask?”


Kagome gave him a small smile, patting his hand gently. “Of course not, Inuyasha. You deserve more than one night a month. You’ve been dating Kikyo for two years though, she has made it clear that she doesn’t want more than what it is. You need to make a decision. If you want to stay with her, you either accept her ridiculous rules or you try to convince her to change them or let up a little. It’s all up to you. But…” She sighed. “You’ve been asking her every month for almost a year now to reconsider and she hasn’t budged. Is the type of relationship you have with her really worth it?”


Inuyasha shook his head slightly, eyes still closed. “I dunno ‘Gome, I thought it was. Not so sure anymore.”


“Inuyasha, we’ve been best friends for five years, and I can tell you for certain that you deserve more than this. You need to be with someone who will love all of you, not just who you become once a month. You’re still the same on the inside, no matter what you look like outside. She says she loves you, but she only loves you twelve days a year, what about the other three hundred and fifty three days?” With that Kagome stood from the couch. “Inuyasha, I try not to speak badly about Kikyo because I know how you feel about her but I have never liked her or how she treats you and your relationship. I’m supportive to a point because this is something you’ve said you wanted. But you do not deserve this and you never have, if you’re finally starting to see how toxic the relationship is… Well I’m glad.” Kagome sighed. “I’m gonna head to bed. You’re welcome to stay if you want, there’s leftovers in the fridge if you’re hungry. If you want we can grab breakfast before I head to work in the morning.” She leaned over him, pressing a light kiss to his forehead. “Just take some time and think about it, ok? It’s a big decision.”



“Wake up sleepyhead.” Kagome took one of the small throw pillows and wacked Inuyasha’s legs with it. When there was no response from the sleeping form, she sighed, dropping the pillow. Leaning over, she gave his shoulder a light shake. “Inuyasha.” She said gently. “Inuyasha.” She said again. “Want to go get some breakfast?” No response. “I’ll pay.” She said in a persuasive tone. 


He quickly turned his head towards her, a grin plastered on his face. Kagome rolled her eyes, straightening. “I knew you were already awake.” She scoffed. “Let’s go get some breakfast then I gotta head into work.” She said heading towards the door to put her shoes on.


He stood, stretching. “It’s Saturday, why are you going to work?”


Kagome groaned. “Cause we had an assistant out sick all week, so I have to go in to get everything caught up. It’s ok though; I could use the overtime. Usually you’re asleep most the day after a new moon so I figured it was a free day for me anyways. But I’ll spare part of my morning for you.” She gave him a grin before sticking her tongue out at him. 


As they made their way out of the building, she spoke again. “Can you drive and just drop me off at work after breakfast?”


He rolled his eyes as he led her towards his motorcycle. “Sure, princess.”


“Hey, if I’m paying then you can drive.”


“Uh huh. You’re just hoping I’ll let you drive one day.” He replied, handing her the helmet. 


She pulled the helmet on as he tied his hair back into a bun. “What? Me? No, never.” She said in a sarcastic, offended tone. There was a huge grin on her face as she climbed on behind him. 


“Never gonna happen, Kagome.”


She rolled her eyes at him. “We’ll see.” She said quietly as she wrapped her arms around him. 



“I’ll get the Floridian french toast and some coffee, please.” Kagome stated, handing the menu back to the waitress with a smile. 


“And I’ll have the eggs benedict, a bacon omelet, and a belgian waffle with the berry compote, and coffee as well. Thank you.” Inuyasha said, handing his menu over and smiling at Kagome as she rolled her eyes at him. “What?” He questioned her.


“You always order more food when I’m paying.” 


“What? Me? No, never.” He responded in the same tone Kagome used earlier. 


“You’re impossible.”


“You mean adorable.” 


“Sure. That.” She chuckled before thanking the waitress that brought over two mugs and a full carafe of coffee. 


“So.” Kagome started, adding a splash of creamer to her mug. “Get anymore thinking done last night?”


Inuyasha sighed, taking a drink of his black coffee. “Not really, was too upset for the most part.”


Kagome nodded slightly, taking a small sip of coffee. Keeping the mug up next to her face, cradled in both hands as she gazed out the window. 


“Something to share, Kagome?”


She sighed loudly, setting her mug back on the table and turning towards him. “Not really. I said most of what I wanted to last night. I don’t like her. I never have. I would almost go as far to say that I hate her for how she treats you.” Kagome held up a hand when Inuyasha looked like he was going to say something. “She hates that you’re hanyou. She does not want to accept you that way. She wants human Inuyasha, and only human Inuyasha. And that is not who you are.” Sighing again she turned back to the window. “I know it took you a long time to accept the fact that not everyone is judging you for who you are. And I’m so proud that you can finally see that. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some people that will. And Kikyo is one of them.”


Inuyasha was frowning into his mug when she turned back to him. “Maybe.” He mumbled before clearing his throat and looking back up at her. “You might be right.” Kagome tilted her head to the side and raised a brow at him. “Fine. You’re probably right.”


They were interrupted when two waitresses came over to deliver their food. They sat in a contemplative silence, enjoying their food, before Inuyasha spoke again. 


“Guess this means you’re going to the symphony with me.”


“What?!” Kagome’s eyes shot up to meet his. 


“I already have tickets, I can’t let them go to waste.” Inuyasha said innocently around a mouthful of omelet.


“Isn’t that like fancy and formal?”


“Yup.” He said grinning at her. “I’ll be wearing a tux.”


Kagome groaned, drizzling more syrup over her french toast. “That means I have to go dress shopping.” 


“Good thing Sango is always looking for an excuse to shop.” 


She sighed. “Oh the things I do for you, Takahashi.”


“Yes, you’re the best. Don’t worry, you’ll love it.”



Kagome was rushing trying to finish her makeup, swiping blush on the apples of her cheeks when she was startled by the sound of knocking on the front door. Dropping her brush back onto the vanity she picked up her phone and sent a text to Inuyasha to let him know that she was still getting ready but that he could let himself in. 


The sound of the door opening and closing was soon followed by the sounds of rustling in the kitchen. Kagome picked up her dress from where it lay across her bed. Pulling it gently over her head, she let the silky material fall over her curves and drop to her ankles, the knee height slit allowing a freedom of movement. She pulled her loose, freshly curled hair out from under the thin straps and turned to study her image in her full length mirror. She smoothed her hands over the deep sapphire material, turning from side to side. 


Going back to her vanity, she picked up a simple silver clip and swept some curls away from her face, securing them in place above her ear. After adding diamond studs to her ears she stooped down to slip into her black pumps. Straightening, she checked her reflection one last time, the deep plunge of her dress made her nervous but she shook it off taking a deep breath. Tucking her phone into her small black clutch she took a shaky breath before finally leaving her room. 


Inuyasha’s gaze was focused out the window when she entered the living room, his hands tucked into his pants pockets. Slowly he turned to face her and Kagome found her breath lodged in her throat; he looked gorgeous in his tux, long silver hair standing out against the black of his jacket. 


“Kagome, you look...stunning.” He stated, smiling warmly at her. 


“Thanks.” She mumbled, a blush forming at his compliment as she glanced away. She cleared her throat, looking back to him. “You’re looking pretty sharp yourself, Mr. Takahashi. Who knew you could even tie a bowtie.” She teased, smirking at him. 


“Yes, well. As you well know Miss Higurashi, I am a very classy gentleman.” He said, making a motion of straightening his bowtie. 


“Of course.” She giggled. 


“Well, we should get going. I got Father to let us borrow Frederick and the town car for the evening.”



Kagome and Inuyasha sat snuggly together in the back of the town car. Kagome kept her eyes out the window, nervous jitters filling her stomach. 


“So is your father still stuck in Paris on business?”


“Yeah…” He mumbled, seeming to not be paying attention to what she was saying. 


“Inuyasha?” Kagome asked, resting a hand gently on his forearm. “Are you ok?”


“I’m ending things with Kikyo.” He turned towards her. “I thought about what you said, I mean, she’s never going to change. I’ve given it two years, and a whole year of that was trying to convince her that we should be more. I don’t know what she was hoping to gain from the relationship but I know I’m not getting what I want out of it.” He let out a heavy sigh. “I want to get married and have kids one day and she won’t even see me outside of the new moon. What was I expecting to happen? I can’t be happy living in the shadows anymore.” 


Kagome’s grip on his arm tightened. “Oh, Inuyasha.” She gave him a half smile. “I’m so proud of you.”


He covered her hand with his. “Thank you, Kagome. You’ve always been there for me, I don’t think I would’ve been brave enough to do this without you. You’re an amazing friend.”


Friend. Friend. The word echoed in Kagome’s mind and she felt her stomach drop. She smiled despite the pit in her stomach. “I will always be there for you, you know that.”



Hand tucked in the crook of Inuyasha’s arm, Kagome let him guide her into the music hall but stopped short. Eyes wide, she tried to take in everything; the space was huge, hundreds of floor seats with several tiers of more seats and a few private balconies closer to the stage. 


“Come on.” He said patting the hand that rested on his arm. “We’ll take the side stairs, our seats are in the dress circle.”


Inuyasha helped guide her up the steps, hand resting comfortably against her lower back. Kagome tried to just focus on being in the moment. But couldn’t shake from her mind the thoughts of a single Inuyasha who had only ever seen her as a friend. 


Finally settled into their seats, Kagome tucked her clutch in beside her. Inuyasha began talking about all the seats, the advantages and disadvantages of each section. Kagome tried to focus on what he was saying, but found herself only nodding and giving a noncommittal ‘yeah’ every now and then. 


He’s only ever seen me as a friend? Has he never thought of me as more? Does he know that I see him as...more? Surely after all this time, he has to know my real feelings. There’s no way that he wouldn’t know after everything. All the playful flirting, the late night talks, all the support and advice, turning only to him when I needed someone to talk to… No, he has to know how I feel. Which means he doesn’t feel the same way and has chosen to remain just friends.


Kagome tried to swallow, her throat suddenly feeling dry. 


“Oh! It’s starting.” Inuyasha grabbed her hand, holding onto it firmly atop the armrest. He gave her an excited grin that warmed her chest. 


He knows my feelings; he has to. Doesn’t he? What if he doesn’t? What if I’m just assuming he does, I mean I think I’ve been obvious but what if he just thinks that’s how close friends act? I should… I should tell him, just to be sure. 


Kagome’s heart began to race at the thought. She gave his hand a light squeeze as the allegro began and her thoughts turned to the last time she had tried to confess her feelings for him...


It was the day of their graduation from university. They’d spent hours celebrating, riding rides, sharing fries and cotton candy, chatting about upcoming interviews as they strolled along the Boardwalk. They eventually found themselves sitting at the end of a pier, gazing out at the sun setting over the water. 


She’d spent a whole week panicking, talking with Sango and planning what to say when she told Inuyasha how she felt about him. She was afraid that if she had started out with a speech about everything they’d been through together and how much he meant to her that she would chicken out, so she had planned to just boldly blurt it out. 


She’d taken his hand and turned to him. He’d given her a soft, tender smile. “Inuyasha, I have to tell you something.”


 He sat quietly, waiting. She looked into his golden eyes and saw love, support, and affection; it had her heart beating harder than she’d ever experienced before. She gaped at him, the words stuck in her throat. After a full minute of just staring at him, he spoke. 




What came out was not what she had wanted to say. “I’m nervous about my interviews next week.” She turned her gaze down to her lap, shame washing over her. 


“Hey.” He squeezed her hand and didn’t speak again until she turned to face him again. “You’re gonna do great, you’ve been prepping for these interviews for months.” 


She studied his eyes again, the love and support was shining bright, but there was something else there, just below the surface. Disappointment? Kagome found herself frowning. 


“Yeah. You’re right. Everything will work itself out.”


“Of course it will. But if you do tank, I’ll be there for you, we can get wasted and you’ll forget all about it.” He gave her a cheesy grin. 


Rolling her eyes, she yanked her hand away from him and gave him a playful shove. “Gee, thanks.”


He chuckled, hardly affected by her shove. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close and looking back out at the water. “You’re… Whatever you need Kagome, I’ll be there.”


She leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder and nodded. “I’ll always be there for you too, Inuyasha. However you need me.”


Kagome glanced at Inuyasha out of the corner of her eye, his attention was firmly glued to the stage. 


Did I really see disappointment in his eyes that day? Was that just my mind seeing what it wanted to, what I hoped he was feeling when I didn’t say what I wanted to? What if he only started dating Kikyo because he didn’t know how I felt? Because he thought we were just friends… Do NOT chicken out again, Kagome, you can do this. Just tell him.


Kagome glanced at their still entwined hands. “Inuyasha… I have to tell you something.” She spoke quietly, her own ears having a hard time picking up the words.


He turned to her with a ‘now?’ expression on his face. When she gave him a slight nod, he turned his attention back forward, but Kagome knew he was still listening when one ear turned slightly towards her. 


“I’ve wanted to tell you for a really long time, since graduation. No, before that even.” Kagome took a deep breath, trying to settle her nerves. “I love you. I’ve been in love with you for four years. I-” She cut herself off when she felt Inuyasha tense. When he turned to face her with a shocked, ‘what the fuck’ expression, Kagome’s breath caught.


Oh God. Why isn’t he saying anything? Fuck. Does he not believe me, does this seem too crazy? Maybe if I just-


Kagome leaned forward and pressed her lips against his. Inuyasha was still, unresponsive. But when Kagome started to pull back, his free hand came up and wrapped around the back of her head, holding her in place as his lips began to move against hers. The kiss started slow, a soft exploration, and when his tongue ran along her bottom lip, she opened up for him. Something shifted between them, turning the kiss into a passionate need for each other. A warm, ache stirred deep inside of her, but when a small moan escaped her Inuyasha froze again. He released her, pulling his hand out of hers, shaking his head. 


“I’m sorry. I can’t.” He stood, jaw clenched and made his way out of the aisle. 


The excitement and warmth from the kiss quickly faded as she watched him disappear from view. It was replaced with hurt, shame, and fear, a sense of dread suddenly finding a place in the empty pit of her stomach. 


Did I just ruin everything? No. He’ll come back. She told herself.


After twenty minutes of waiting, Kagome finally accepted what she already knew; he wasn’t coming back. A few rogue tears escaped, and she wiped them away in earnest, sniffing slightly. Decision made, she stood, clutch in hand, and made her way out of the row of seats.


Kagome somehow managed to hold back more tears as the waves of emotions rolled through her. The lobby was empty other than the stray employee here and there. It wasn’t until she pushed through the doors of the exit and the chill of the fall air hit her that Kagome realized that Inuyasha had her coat check stub. Shaking her head she made her way down the steps, dress held up on one side, eyes fixed on the steps in front of her. 


“Miss Higurashi?” 


Kagome looked up, startled, as she descended the last few steps. Frederick was standing by the town car, moving to open the rear passenger door as she approached. 




“Mr. Takahashi called and asked that I make sure you got home alright.”


Kagome was overcome with another wave of emotion as she stared into the empty backseat of the car. Tears blurred her vision, threatening to spill free, and her lip trembled slightly. She gave him a tight-lipped smile. “Thank you.” She said quietly. “I think I’m going to walk.” With that she turned and started down the empty sidewalk. 


“Miss Higurashi?” He called after her. “Kagome, wait! Please, it’s too far to walk.”


Kagome wrapped her arms around herself and didn’t look back as the tears finally fell free. In hindsight, Kagome realized that she should’ve just taken the ride home but knew that the walk would help to try to sort out the thoughts and feelings clouding her mind. It took over an hour to get home, her body numb from the chill and heels forming fresh blisters on her feet. Eyes red and swollen, tried to focus on unlocking her door.


Dropping her clutch and keys on the entry table, she made her way into the kitchen. Grabbing an unopened bottle of pinot grigio and a clean wine glass, Kagome turned to make her way to the bedroom and was met with a giant bouquet of white roses. They were placed in a beautiful Waterford crystal vase. It became clear to her then that that was what Inuyasha had been doing when he had come to pick her up for the evening, and Kagome found that she still had more tears to shed. Carefully pulling one of the stems free, she brought it to her nose, inhaling deeply as she made her way through her bedroom and into the bathroom. 


She set her burdens down beside the tub before turning the knobs. As the water began to fill, she poured in a generous amount of bubbles and lavender oil. Depositing her heels to the floor, she slipped out of her dress, letting the silky material pool at her feet before stepping into the steaming surface. The heat soaked into her skin, chasing away the chilled numbness. Soothing her aching muscles and sore feet. 


Forty-five minutes had passed by before Kagome realized she had just been staring blankly at the wall, thoughts scrambling to try to find purchase, only occasionally reaching out of the tub to grab the bottle of wine to refresh her empty glass. Letting out a sigh, when the bottle was finally empty she pulled herself up from the depths of the tub, wrapping a fluffy towel around herself as she stepped out. Mind fuzzy, she hardly remembered pulling a t-shirt over her head before sinking under the covers of her welcoming bed.



Kagome woke to the sound of a pained groan. Eyes shooting open, she quickly sat up in bed. Her vision instantly spinning, her head feeling like a lead weight and her stomach churned. Closing her eyes for a moment, allowing the world to settle back into place, she took a slow breath. Opening them again she glanced around her room. Finding it unoccupied, she realized that the groan of pain had been her own. 


Looking to the window she found the bare traces of sunrise. Sighing, she climbed from the bed. The change in elevation had her stomach churning again, quickly dashing into the bathroom she threw herself to her knees before heaving the contents of her mostly empty stomach into the bowl. The burn in her throat and the acrid taste in her mouth sent her heaving again. Letting out a low groan of defeat, she pulled the handle flushing everything down. Closing her eyes, to keep the world in place, Kagome reached up and used the sink as support to pull herself up off the floor. 


Opening her eyes, she sighed at her reflection, her makeup smeared under her eyes, hair in need of a good brushing. Throat still burning from the aftereffects of her vomiting, she put her head under the faucet, swishing the water around in her mouth before spitting it back out.  Teeth feeling like they had grown fuzz caused her to grimace and she set to work. After two rounds of brushing and a good tongue scrub, they felt exceptionally better. With another glance at her reflection she scrubbed her face clean with her gentle foaming face wash, before grabbing her brush and began working out the knots. 


Grabbing a bottle of aspirin from the cabinet she made her way through the bedroom, eyes briefly lingering on her bed with longing before continuing to the kitchen. Taking a bottle of water from the fridge, she quickly opened it and took a few big gulps. Opening the asprin, she shook a few out onto her open palm, tossing them into her mouth she took another gulp of water to wash them down. With a relieved sigh she set the pill bottle down on the counter before taking another bottle of water out of the fridge. Open water in hand and her spare tucked under her arm, she shut the fridge and turned to make her way back into the bedroom, carefully avoiding looking at the flowers mocking her from the other countertop. 


Setting both bottles on her nightstand, Kagome crawled back into bed, determined to get a few more hours of sleep before trying to brave the day. Eyes heavy, but sleep evading her, she rolled over and chugged the rest of the opened water. With a heavy sigh she plopped back down and rolled onto her side and tried closing her eyes again. This time sleep found her, dreams filled with golden eyes, silver hair, and playful laughter. 



Eyes blinking open at the light streaming through the window, Kagome reached out of the covers, blindly searching for her phone on the nightstand. Coming up empty handed, Kagome propped herself up onto an elbow with a huff. With a glance at her stand she saw that her phone was indeed missing. Taking a long pull from the water bottle left on her stand she shoved the covers aside before climbing from the bed. Shuffling her way to the entry table, Kagome retrieved her dead phone from her clutch. 


Plugging her phone in, she settled back onto the bed, taking small sips of water as she waited for the device to turn back on as it rested on her lap. The screen flickered back to life a few minutes later and Kagome found that she had several missed calls and a few texts from Inuyasha. 


Oh, no. Kagome groaned to herself before opening up the messages. 


From: Inuyasha

11:15 PM


We should talk, call me.


From: Inuyasha

11:42 PM


Please call me back. 


From: Inuyasha

11:57 PM


I’m sorry I just left you, can you just call me. Please.


From: Inuyasha

8:15 AM


I’m coming over to talk.


Kagome looked at the time, 8:25. Shiiiiit! Jumping from the bed, heart pounding as she rushed over to her dresser. Hopping around, Kagome jerked the black leggings up over her hips before running to her closet. 


Fuck, not ready to face him. I screwed everything up, what if he says we can’t be friends anymore? Why did I kiss him?! How embarrassing, oh my God. 


Grabbing the first hoodie she saw, she yanked the emerald green Slytherin hoodie over her head. Snagging a hair tie off her vanity and slipping it onto her wrist and made her way to the front door. She slipped her black converse on and snatched her keys off the entry table before exiting her apartment. Locking the door and tucking the keys into her hoodie pocket she turned, walked past the elevator and proceeded down the steps. Pulling her hair up into a messy bun and securing it on top of her head she paused. 


Shit, my phone. She hesitated, considering. Nope. Shaking her head she continued down the steps. No time. 


She stepped out onto the sidewalk and took a deep breath, releasing it slowly before turning to make her way down the road. She continued walking, eyes focused down on the sidewalk, block after block passing by, hands tucked snuggly in her hoodie. 


Maybe I shouldn’t have sprung this on him. I should’ve waited, had a probing conversation to see how he felt about me. You know, something more subtle. God, Kagome, you’re such an idiot


Sometime later, still consumed in thought, Kagome glanced up, only half surprised to find that she had found her way to the Boardwalk. She made her way to the pier that she and Inuyasha had watched the sunset on on graduation day. The same place that she had chickened out when trying to confess her feelings the first time. Now to be the place to wallow after having screwed up their friendship. She plopped herself down, legs dangling off the end, and leaned against the post. Her thoughts drifted to the first time she met Inuyasha. 


A loud thump of a textbook slamming down onto the table caused her to jump, her pen making a large mark across her notes. She looked up, annoyed, to see the tall, handsome, silver-haired man, with two fuzzy ears on top of his head. The one she had found very distracting during class. There was a deep scowl on his face and he looked like he was ready for a fight.


“Look, I’m sorry that you’re the one that got paired off with the hanyou.” He spat. “But I want you to know that I’ll do my part, I’m no slacker.”


She was momentarily dumbstruck. “Wha- I didn’t… I wouldn’t assume-”


He held up his hand, interrupting her. “You don’t have to say anything. I’m used to it.” He sat down at the table, across from her. “People assume the worst because I’m a hanyou. You don’t have to pretend to be any different. Let’s just divvy up the assignment, we can meet back up next week so you can see that I’m doing my part.” He pulled out a few papers that were tucked into his book with the assignment instructions. “So I figure-”


“No.” She stated firmly. He looked up with a frown at her. “You assume that people are judging you for being a hanyou. Well, you’re judging me the same way. You assume because you’re a hanyou that every single person is going to treat you a certain way? Well you’re wrong, I’m not like that.”


“Sure.” He scoffed. 


“Well I don’t care that you’re a hanyou, even if you don’t believe me. And I’d prefer if we worked on all of the assignment together, it will be easier that way anyways. Rather than each trying to work separately and then coming together and hope that our results line up. Unless you have some sort of problem with me?” She raised a questioning brow at him, daring him to contradict her.


“No, of course not.”


“Good. Well let’s get started then; we have all semester to do this and I’m not even sure that’ll be enough time. This assignment is ridiculous, and it’s worth half our grade. This professor is trying to kill us, I think.”


She began reading over the assignment outloud, not seeing the hanyou studying her with a sceptical gaze. 


They were an hour into their research, noses buried in text and reference books, pages of notes taken when he spoke again. 


“You never told me your given name.”


She looked up, somewhat confused and shocked. “Oh. I’m Kagome. Kagome Higurashi” She stuck out her hand to him.


“Inuyasha.” Was all he said, ignoring her outstretched hand before turning his eyes back to his book. 


Kagome sighed at the memory. It had taken the whole semester just for Inuyasha to accept the fact that maybe she didn’t really care about him being a hanyou. She recalled the desperation she began to feel as the end of the semester approached. 


Kagome sat down at the table he had already claimed in the library; it was their last meeting to go over the whole assignment to make sure everything was perfect before they had to turn it in.


“So uhhh, Inuyasha. What classes are you taking next semester?”


“Nothing you’re taking, I’m sure.” He said, not looking up from the paper in front of him. 


“Oh, you never know.” She said biting her lip.


“Ok.” He said setting the paper down on the table and looking up at her. “Intermediate Microeconomics.” He paused and she shook her head. “Managerial Accounting.” She shook her head again. “Business Communication.”


“Ooooh yeah! Me too!” She said excitedly. 


He gave her a frown. “Oh really? You’re taking business communication? You’re an english major. Why would you be taking that?”


Kagome glanced away, thinking quickly. “Cause uhhh. I’m uhhh.” She swallowed, looking back at him. “Wanting to go into publishing.” She gave him a smile. 


He looked at her, unconvinced. “You’ve never mentioned that before.”


“I hadn't completely decided on it yet when the semester started. But after a lot of consideration, that’s what I decided.”


Kagome loved her career and would never regret the summer she had to spend as a teacher’s assistant in order to get into that full business communications class. By the end of that class, her and Inuyasha were officially friends; it had been the best feeling of accomplishment Kagome had ever felt. They both spent all of their free time together after that, studying together, watching movies, ordering takeout to their dorms, even going to the school’s football games.


“Inuyasha.” Kagome whined from her place on the couch. “Just pick a movie already, it’s not like we haven’t seen all of them before.”


“Just pick a movie, she says.” He mumbled under his breath while holding several blu-rays in his hand. “We only get a break from studying so often, Kagome. We gotta pick a good one, who knows when we will be able to watch another. You drag me off campus every spare second we get, it’s exhausting.”


She scoffed at him. “Don’t pretend like you don’t enjoy going on all our little adventures.”


She caught his eye roll as he stuck a disc into the player before throwing himself down beside her. 


“Yeah, yeah. You’re right, as usual.” He plucked some popcorn out of the bowl in her lap, tossing the buttery pieces into his mouth.


As the beginning scenes of Paranormal Activity started Kagome let out a long drawn out whine and shoved the bowl of popcorn into Inuyasha’s lap. 


“Inuyasha!” She curled herself up into his side, hiding her face behind her hands. “Why did you pick this one? You know this scares the crap out of me.” She whimpered.


“Awe, it’s just a movie, Kagome.” He said while wrapping an arm around her shoulders, pulling her tightly against him. 


Halfway through Kagome let out another squeak at the screen and ducked behind her hands again. “You are NOT leaving tonight. I will not be left alone after being forced to watch this.”


Inuyasha chuckled and dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “Whatever you say.”


When the movie was finally over Kagome emerged from the bathroom, ready for sleep when she saw Inuyasha stretching out on the couch, pulling the throw blanket over himself. 


“Oh, nu uh. I don’t think so mister. In the bed with me.”


Inuyasha looked at her, confused. “What?”


“Something could snatch me in the middle of the night before you even make it off the couch. If anything is coming for me, they have to go through you.” She pointed to the bed. 


As they settled under the covers, side by side, Inuyasha wrapped an arm around her. “Don’t worry, Kagome. I’ll protect you.” He muttered into her hair as he drifted off to sleep. 


Kagome smiled softly, tucking her head under his chin, never having felt as safe as she did in his arms. 


She felt his presence a moment before he sat down beside her. Fresh tears filled her eyes when he reached over and gently took one of her hands from her lap. 


“Kagome.” He said softly.


“Please-” A sob escaped her and she squeezed her eyes tightly shut, the tears flowing down her face. “Please tell me that I didn’t screw everything up. Please tell me that we’re still friends.” She covered her eyes with her free hand as more sobs poured out. 


Inuyasha released her hand before taking her by the shoulders and pulling her into his arms, wrapping one arm around her shoulders and the other cradling her head to his chest. Kagome wrapped her arms around him, breathing him in as the tears continued. 


After a few minutes the tears slowed and Inuyasha spoke, not letting go. “I’m sorry I ran out last night. I could have- should have, handled that better. I was just so… shocked and surprised and scared. And then you kissed me and a lot of feelings that I’ve tried to keep bottled up just came rushing out and I was so overwhelmed that I just...ran.”


Kagome’s heart was pounding, her brain trying to dissect his words as he continued. 


“I found myself at Kikyo’s.” Kagome tensed at the mention of her name and Inuyasha hugged her tighter. “I was pounding on her door for a good ten minutes before she finally opened it. I told her that I kissed someone.” He let out a small bitter chuckle. “She didn’t even care. She said that she was glad that I had found someone to take care of ‘my needs’ outside of the new moon. And if I hadn’t already been planning on doing it before, that certainly would’ve decided it for me. I told her that she was a horrible person and that I didn’t deserve to be treated the way she’s been treating me. That I deserve and needed someone that accepted all of me. So I told her I was done, then I left.” He sighed. 


“I was almost home when I got a call from Frederick. He told me that you walked home, and I felt like such shit for just running out like that. He drove to your place and waited outside till he saw you go in. I tried calling and you didn’t answer, I figured you were mad at me. I was up most of the night; just thinking and hoping you would call me back. This morning I couldn’t wait anymore, I didn’t care if you were mad or not. I went to your place and you weren’t answering the door. I felt so… angry with myself and how I reacted. Gods, I almost broke down your door before I remembered that I had a key. You weren’t inside and I saw you had left your phone. I remembered something you said last night and I just prayed that you would be down here.”


Inuyasha paused, taking in a deep breath. “On graduation day, when we were sitting here, you said you had something to tell me. You were so nervous and I-I just… I was hoping then that you would tell me that you liked me as more than a friend. I was hoping you would be the one to tell me, because Gods, I was too much of a coward to tell you how I felt. That first day we met, and you told me to basically shut up and stop judging you, I knew then that I liked you. But I was too angry at everyone and the world back then, so I kept trying to push you away. But you just kept pushing me back, forcing your friendship on me. You forced me to see that not everyone is looking down on me for my heritage. And I think the only reason I even started dating Kikyo was because I was scared… I was too scared to tell you that I liked you, too scared to jeopardize our friendship and losing the only person I cared about.”


Inuyasha pulled away, curling a hand under her chin, tilting her head up to meet her eyes. “Kagome. I’ve been in love with you since I found out that the only reason you were a teacher’s assistant over that summer was because you forced your way into a full business communications class. Kagome, I’m so sorry that I reacted horribly when you told me and I’m sorry that I never had the courage to tell you before now. You asked me to tell you that we’re still friends and Kagome, I want you to know that no matter what happens, I will never not be there for you.” Inuyasha cradled her face in both hands, thumbs moving to wipe away the tears. “I love you and I hope that you’ll give me and us a chance to see that we can be so much more than friends.”


Kagome brought a hand up to cover one of his. “I’ll always be here, Inuyasha. I love you.”


Inuyasha ducked his head down, bringing his lips to hers. There was no hesitation this time, just passion and love, both knowing that their time as friends was not wasted but not willing to give anymore time away being anything less than more.