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My Gift Is You

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It was going to be Christmas in two weeks and Kagome was determined to make it back to her side of the well for it. She understood that certain sacrifices had to be made in the hunt for Naraku and recovering the jewel shards, but she had already missed two Christmases. She was not going to miss a third. It was difficult to find a way to bring the topic up, but with time running out, she decided to mention it that night when they made camp.

“There’s a very important holiday coming up in my time that I don’t want to miss; so we have to be near Kaede’s village again in two weeks or I won’t make it back in time.”

“Hell no. You belong here,” Inuyasha said in immediate refusal.

“He means you belong here with him-- Ow!!” Shippo clutched his head where Inuyasha’s fist had connected. 

Kagome rolled her eyes. “I go back all the time for things. Why is this any different?” 

“Exactly! You go back all the time. Why can’t you just fuckin’ stay for once?”

“Because it's Christmas!”

“Christmas? What’s that?” Sango spoke up. Kirara lay in her lap and happily purred as the slayer stroked her fur.

Of course, Christmas wasn’t a thing in feudal Japan, and Kagome had been anticipating such a question. She eagerly began explaining the history of it and the modern-day sentiment behind it for most people. How it was a day to give back to your loved ones and cherish your family, or even show your love to someone special. And all the traditions that were practiced, like the tree, the stockings, the exchanging of presents, and (the part Kagome had been most eager to share) mistletoe.

“So if two people happen to find themselves underneath some mistletoe, they must kiss?” Miroku sounded very interested, and Kagome didn’t miss the sideways glance he gave to Sango, who blushed. “Where does one obtain such a thing?”

“Well, you don’t have to. But it’s tradition. And if you have feelings for someone, it’s a good way to find an excuse to kiss them. I don’t know where any would be found in this era, though.”

“That’s unfortunate.”

“More like a relief,” Sango said dryly. Miroku sighed and Kagome bit back a smile. Like her and Inuyasha, those two were closer than they wanted to admit.

Inuyasha had been quiet up until that point and Kagome looked at him expectantly. He scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest. Family? Loved ones? Were they not good enough for her to share it with? Was he not? She talked about the importance of spending it with people you cared about but then wanted to leave them behind to go celebrate it with others. And okay, sure, those others were her actual family, but that didn't make it sting any less. Whatever.

“I think it’s stupid,” he finally said, causing Kagome to glare.

They argued, with her swearing she would make it back. Inuyasha had other ideas, making sure she knew she would be staying. He wasn’t very happy when she told him flat-out that she would sit him six feet into the ground if he tried to stop her. What he didn’t realize was that as much as she wanted to spend Christmas with her family, Kagome really wanted to spend it with him , too. But she hadn’t even managed to get that far before Inuyasha was turning his nose up at the idea of Christmas altogether!

Fine. If he wanted to act that way about it, then that was his choice. Maybe when the time drew closer, she could get him alone and approach him about it again; he was usually more honest with her when the others weren’t around. Or maybe he was just sulking. She didn’t know and frankly, she was too annoyed to care at the moment. Honestly, Kagome didn’t want to ruin the surprise she had for him on the other side of the well. It was what was making the communication that they had gotten better at over their three years of travel together so hard. The fact she had to be slightly secretive lest she reveal anything. Stupid pride.

Over the course of the next few days he moped, his ears drooping, but if anyone mentioned his sullen mood, he snapped. Kagome was torn between irritation and feeling bad about the whole situation, although she couldn’t quite figure out why. Inuyasha never liked it when she had to leave for her era but something felt different about it this time. What upset her further was she couldn’t fix it like usual.

Then, of course, on their way back to the village, stories of another jewel shard surfaced and Inuyasha insisted they go check it out. Miroku and Sango offered to go scout the area, just the two of them, so that Kagome could stay near the well. Inuyasha wouldn’t hear of it, and after some more arguing Kagome let herself be roped in. Once Inuyasha brought up that the jewel shards were her responsibility since she was technically the guardian of the jewel, she couldn’t erase the sense of obligation that weighed heavy on her. She was the one who had shattered the Shikon Jewel, after all.

However, if she had known how complicated the matter was going to end up being, and how long it would end up taking, she might have put more effort into saying no. By the time everything was taken care of, she was two days later than what she had promised her family. Despite being upset at this, Kagome had tried one last time to talk to Inuyasha about it, alone.

It hadn’t gone well.

“So...I’m going back now. To celebrate Christmas. If you--”

“Do whatever you want. Go celebrate your holiday with your loved ones .”

Kagome blinked, a little taken aback at the sneer he was giving her. “What? Why are you saying it like that?”

“Because it’s stupid.”

“Wha--? Listen, I’m only trying to--”

“Just go, already! You’ve been dying to leave for the past two weeks!”

So much for trying to invite him. She wanted to cry. Why did things always end up like this between them? They had grown so close over the course of their journey and yet it felt like they were back at square one. The fact he was being such an asshole--the fact he was using anger and hurtful words again to cover something up--! Augh!

If this was the first Christmas she was celebrating in three years she wanted him to be a part of it. Honestly, all of them were like family to her now, but Inuyasha was special. He always had been. There were a couple of things she had planned that she really wanted him there for...but he was too busy being an asshole, and she wasn’t going to allow him to ruin her favorite holiday. 

“Fine! If you’re going to be like that, then--I just--ugh!!! I give up! Goodbye, you jerk!”

And with those parting words, she’d jumped into the well. Inuyasha scowled at her departure. He didn’t understand this whole Christmas thing but she’d made it clear she wanted to spend it away from him. Kinda. Maybe… Then again, maybe he hadn’t tried very hard to understand. After being together for three years they were so much better at communicating than they used to be, but sometimes, like now, they fell into old habits. And it was pretty much his fault. Dammit. He knew that too. He was the one who got petty and hateful. Kagome was only standing her ground, but he still couldn’t shake the idea she was hiding something from him.  

But Kagome was always honest with him. So, even if she was hiding something, there must have been a good reason. Like trying to surprise him…? Fuck, he was a dumbass. After standing there for a while, lost in thought, he came to two conclusions. He had acted like an immature asshole, and he was going after her.

***

Emerging from the well, Kagome climbed the stairs and left the well-house, adjusting her backpack. It was so much colder here in her time than the feudal era she had just left behind. Flurries danced by her on the sudden burst of wind that stung her face. Looking at the expanse of white already blanketing the earth, Kagome smiled. It was going to be a white Christmas. She took off for her house in a sprint. The snow was already a few inches deep but she still managed to cross the grounds in record time.

Bursting through the front door, her face shone with excitement. She may have been a couple of days later than promised, but at least she had made it in time for Christmas Eve. Finally, for the first time in the last three years that she had been looking for the Shikon shards, she was going to be home for Christmas. Not even her argument with Inuyasha could dull her happiness at that.

However, she knew something was off the moment she entered the house. All the lights were off and everything was still and quiet. Too quiet. Her excitement slowly fizzled as she made her way to the kitchen, where she saw a note sitting on the kitchen table. Setting her backpack down, she walked over to the table and picked it up, beginning to read.

Dear Kagome,

Your grandfather won an all expenses paid trip to an onsen. We tried to wait for you as long as we could before leaving, but the reservation was for the 23rd. I know you must have tried so hard to make it back and that you must be doing your best. Although we’ll miss your presence dearly, I understand there are some things more important. I’m leaving this note in case you make it back and find us all gone. Your gifts have been left under the tree.

Love, Mama

The letter dropped back to the table from Kagome’s limp fingers. Her family was gone and she had come back to an empty house. All because she was late getting back, something that was entirely Inuyasha’s fault. Frustration and self-pity filled her as she clenched her fists. She’d missed her opportunity to spend Christmas with her family, which meant that now she was going to be all alone for the next few days.

Just like that, all her happiness turned to ashes. In its place a leaden weight lay heavy in her chest, making it hard to breathe. Tears filled her eyes, threatening to spill over. This was just perfect ; the one time she had managed to make it back through the well for Christmas, and her family was gone. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and one she hadn’t been able to celebrate for literally years.

That particular thought was what broke the emotional dam; suddenly all her tears were falling down. Kagome sniffed, feeling a little pathetic but also unable to help herself. She’d been looking forward to it so much. Now, part of her secretly wished she had just remained behind in the feudal era. There was really nothing stopping her from going back, but she wasn’t ready to face that stubborn idiot again so soon. And it wasn't like he cared about Christmas, anyway.
 
He had made sure she was aware of that.

Or maybe I’m the one being stubborn, she thought with a sigh, giving in to her misery and letting herself just cry. There went her plans for Christmas dinner, listening to Christmas music, opening presents, and sitting in front of the glow of the fireplace. While she could technically do everything that she was looking forward to by herself...what was the point without any of her loved ones? Without the conversation and laughter and warm feelings? It would feel empty. Kind of like how she was currently feeling.

Wiping her eyes, she looked around at all the Christmas decorations, the sight of them just making her more depressed. When her gaze landed on the mistletoe she had hung at the bottom of the stairs she was overcome with the urge to tear it down. Stupid Inuyasha. She had been hoping to convince him to cross through the well with her, and then she would time it just right so that the both of them would be under the mistletoe at the same time. And then he would kiss her. 

But that obviously wasn’t happening. It had all just been a stupid romantic fantasy of hers. She hadn’t even gotten the invitation past her lips before he had been calling the whole thing dumb. Whatever.

Thinking of Inuyasha had her feeling even more lonely. Christmas was a time to be with those you loved, and...she loved Inuyasha. Sometimes, she thought the same could be said for him about her, but other times she wasn’t so sure. This whole debacle, for instance, was one of those times she honestly thought she was making it all up in her head. The mistletoe would have been a test of sorts, but it was just as well. As much as she couldn’t deny her desire to see him again right away, she needed some time to collect herself. Tomorrow she would swallow her pride and go back through the well.

For today, Kagome found herself drawn to the Sacred Tree. If she wasn’t going to see Inuyasha, then that was the next best thing. It was where it had all started for them, after all. When she had freed him and begun the whole chain of events that had led them to where they were now. And somehow, somewhere along the way, she had fallen in love with him. Deeply. Inescapably. And as much as it hurt sometimes, she couldn’t find it in her to regret it. 

Walking back outside into the cold and the snow, Kagome made her way to the Sacred Tree. Flurries drifted down from gray skies, landing gently on her cheeks and dusting her hair with white. It occurred to her that she probably should have grabbed a coat, but she couldn’t seem to find the energy or the will to go back inside. Instead, she stood there, staring and replaying all her memories of Inuyasha inside her head. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, her navy blazer doing little to protect her from the intense chill of the air. Time stretched as her mind replayed every moment, every touch, every word that had passed between them. She was a fool. A love-sick fool who should have been more honest and just yelled at the top of her lungs that she wanted him to come with her. But here she was: alone with her pride bruised. 

“What are ya doin’ out here in the cold, stupid?”

Kagome blinked, then shook her head. She was so lost in thought about Inuyasha that she was imagining his voice now. “I must be losing it,” she muttered.

“I’ll say. No other explanation for why you’re standin’ out here starin’ into space.”

Eyes widening, Kagome turned to see Inuyasha standing there, arms crossed over his chest. His golden eyes were a mix of concern and irritation. She felt all the breath leave her lungs in surprise. He never came after her so soon, especially not after an argument. She was always the one who ended up having to give in. But not this time, it appeared.

“Inuya--” Her voice broke off as a violent shudder gripped her while fresh tears sprang to her eyes. He was here. She wasn’t going to be alone on Christmas, after all.

“Put that on.”

In the next instant, she felt something heavy and warm being placed over her head, and she instinctively reached up to grab at it. Rapidly blinking to clear her blurred vision from all the unshed tears, she looked from Inuyasha’s haori in her hands to the hanyou standing in front of her. Hot warmth trailed down her cheek as a tear escaped and his ears instantly flattened in distress and agitation.

She didn't want to let him see the evidence of her pity party, though. Slipping the robe of the fire rat over her head and shoulders, Kagome turned away from him in a futile effort to hide her tear-stained face. Hunching her shoulders and clutching at the haori, she hastily wiped at her eyes.

“Why the hell are ya cryin’?”

Ugh. Of course, he had seen. Of course he had noticed. He could probably smell all her emotions; nothing ever got past him.

“I'm not crying. Why are you here?”

She still refused to look his way, and it was beginning to irk him. Inuyasha strode in front of her and she immediately turned around, walking a few steps away. He scowled.

“Ain't it obvious? And I can smell your tears, so don't lie."

"I got something in my eye."

"I just said not to lie."

"Please, it's nothing."

"Hey! Look at me when I'm talkin' to ya."

"I don't want to."

"Wha--? Alright, that's it."

Inuyasha grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. He didn’t know why she was being so cagey but the scent and sight of her tears were making a small part of him panic and he felt the undeniable need to check on her, make sure she was okay, and if not-- fix the issue. Even if, like he suspected, the issue was him. Why was he always such a fucking idiot? Especially when it came to her. His old habits always ended up screwing him over, even three years after she released him from his imprisonment. Inuyasha wasn’t even sure why he resorted to those old ways… Kagome never tried to harm him. Her words about coming back had merely thrown him into guarding his own potentially vulnerable heart.

It was such a typical Inuyasha move, to grab her and spin her around, and yet somehow it still surprised Kagome, so much so that she stumbled backwards and lost her footing. Tumbling back into the snow, she instinctively reached out, grabbing onto the front of his kosode to try and keep herself upright. She failed, and rather than righting herself, she only succeeded in pulling him down with her. A yelp escaped her as the cold snow cushioned her fall while freezing her to the bone. 

But she didn’t have any room in her head to think about how cold she suddenly was, not when Inuyasha was sprawled out in the snow with her. No, not with her. He was on top of her and his face was mere inches from hers. He had braced himself with his forearms on either side of her head, one of his legs between her own so he didn’t totally collapse onto her body. She could see her wide-eyed face reflected in his own amber hues amidst the surprise and something that looked a lot like longing swirling within them.

It stole her breath away. Her emotions were a mess, unable to settle on just one. They mixed and bled together until it was almost impossible to differentiate between them all. But everything seemed to just fade away into the background as she laid there, staring into his eyes. They were magnetic and she was completely ensnared. She never wanted to escape. The one feeling that managed to separate itself from all the others was a sharp longing that matched the look in Inuyasha’s own gaze. It pulsed through her, making her heart beat faster.

If it was longing--if she wasn’t mistaken. And she had never wanted to be right about something so badly in her life.

Inuyasha was frozen in place, and it wasn’t because of the chill air. He had been so irritated with Kagome and then in a matter of seconds he was suddenly laying on top of her in the snow with her warm body pressed against his in all the right places. It short-circuited his brain for a moment, and when he was capable of thought again all he could seem to think about was how much he wanted her. How perfect she was. How much of an idiot he was to have driven her away again.

She had the most enticing look of shock on her beautiful face, her long hair splayed all around her in the snow like black ink spilled onto white paper. Her warm brown eyes went half-lidded as she stared back at him wordlessly. All the earlier agitation he had been feeling disappeared and the only thing that mattered in that moment was Kagome.

After loving her for so long, maybe it was time to stop dancing around it and lay it all out in the open. 

Every time he had come close to saying anything, he either found a way to avoid it or they got interrupted. Which was just as well. It would have forced him to talk about his feelings, something that he avoided like the fucking plague. It was just easier, considering how often he ended up putting his foot in his mouth. Like now, for instance. But with her lips so close to his, and the scent she was beginning to throw off, she was almost impossible to resist.

Fuck it. He was going for it.

Kagome scarcely dared to breathe as one of his clawed hands came up to rest on her cheek. Was this actually happening? Maybe she had passed out from hypothermia and was hallucinating. But no, his face, only inches away, slowly came ever closer until she swore she could taste his hot breath on her lips.

He was going to kiss her and every part of her yearned for it.

Just as his lips were about to touch hers, a tremor ran through Kagome’s body that had nothing to do with her desire. It started small but that tiny shudder was the crack that broke the dam and suddenly she was shaking violently from how cold she was. The snow she was laying in had soaked through all her clothing and her teeth began to chatter. Not even Inuyasha’s body over her own nor his haori around her shoulders was enough to stave off the chill. Her body had had enough and demanded real warmth.

Immediately, Inuyasha pulled back, cursing himself. In seconds, he was on his feet again and Kagome was in his arms. She clung to him, her body wracked with shivers.

“You’re freezing. Dammit, woman.”

He held her tightly, mentally berating himself. The reason he had come after her was to make up with her and instead he’d almost let her freeze to death. Humans were so damn fragile. He should have forced her to go inside instantly but he’d let himself get carried away. Dumbass. And who knew how long she’d been standing out there in nothing but her school uniform?

Kagome would have responded if she was capable of speech, but her lips felt numb. Instead, she buried her face into his neck as he carried her back inside, out of the snow and cold. The warmth of her home washed over her like a caress and she sighed as the trembling of her body eased a bit. Inuyasha came to an abrupt halt and stood still just beyond the threshold of the front door. Once she could manage words again, Kagome raised her to head to see what had made him stop.

“Inuyasha? What’s wrong?”

Right away, the hanyou noticed how dark and quiet everything was inside her home. Going on alert, he scanned the place with his senses but found nothing amiss. There were also lots of new...decorations in red, green, and white everywhere. Literally everywhere. Those hadn’t been there the last time he’d been on this side of the well. The scent of pine and cinnamon was almost overwhelming, making him wrinkle his nose to hold back a sneeze.

“What’s goin’ on? What’s all this stuff? And that smell?” He would have covered his nose with a sleeve if he’d had a free hand, but he sure as hell wasn’t gonna let go of Kagome.

Kagome gave a laugh, but there was no real humor in it. “Those are Christmas decorations. We really like to go all out. Makes it feel more cheery.” Despite her words, her voice sounded anything but cheerful.

“Yeah? And your family?”

“Oh, them?” Kagome smiled and it was forced. “Apparently they left yesterday when I didn’t make it back home in time. My grandpa won a trip and they couldn’t wait for me. So it’s just little ole me right now.”

Shit. This was all his fault. He shouldn’t have been such a jackass. Even if he had been hurt at the thought of Kagome wanting to celebrate it without him...

“You’re blaming yourself, aren’t you?” Kagome said softly, looking up at him.

“I--wha--how did you know?” he sputtered.

“Because I know you. And you’re right, this is your fault.”

“Hey!”

“It’s your fault,” Kagome repeated, “but I’m glad you came after me. At least I get to spend Christmas with one person I care about, now.” She gave him a real smile this time, reaching up with a hand to rest it on his cheek in a loving gesture.

Inuyasha blushed; he didn’t know what to make of that. But one thing was clear-- Kagome was still far too cold. While her shivers had mostly subsided, her skin was icy to the touch. Clearing his throat in embarrassment, he shifted her in his arms and began to walk further into the house. 

“Of course I came after ya,” was all he could say.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked, still smiling.

“Upstairs, obviously. You’re still freezin’. Idiot, standin’ outside in the cold like that. Gotta get you into some dry clothes, maybe make you take a hot bath.”

Kagome bit her lip to keep from giggling; this was one of the sides of Inuyasha she loved most. Despite his gruff exterior, he had a big heart. Most people would be turned off by his attitude, but she knew what lay underneath all that bluster. He was such a caretaker, and it was honestly so endearing. Of course he’d want to take her upstairs to...

The stairs. Right. An idea occurred to her.

“Wait,” she said just as he put his foot on the first step. He stopped. “Look up.”

The two of them raised their faces to look at the mistletoe hanging above them. For a long moment, neither of them said anything. He stared at it, and she studied his expression, trying to gauge his reaction. At first he looked confused, then slowly, his golden eyes widened as he connected the dots.

Outside in the snow, he had almost kissed her. He would have if she hadn’t started shaking so uncontrollably from the cold. She was sure of it. And that gave her a little boost of confidence. Patiently, she waited for his gaze to return to hers.

“It’s mistletoe,” she said quietly.

“That’s the plant people kiss under, right?” His voice was low.

“Yes.”

Inuyasha met her eyes again and the question in them melted into heat at whatever he saw in her expression. Kagome wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself up until their faces were mere inches apart. Her heart was racing, and she could feel the slight shudder in each breath he took. This was it. It was happening.

“Then...you’re sayin’ to--”

Spurred on by that burst of confidence, Kagome leaned forward and kissed him, cutting off the rest of his sentence. He inhaled sharply at the firm press of her lips against his, but he didn’t pull away. Instead, he leaned into her and she tilted her head up in response, her body humming happily. The kiss was soft and sweet, with an underlying current of need, and it ended way too soon.

The moment the kiss was over Inuyasha wanted to capture her lips again. And again. He would never get enough of the way her mouth tasted, or the way she smelled when his lips were on hers. It was irresistible and sent desire racing through his veins. The demonic half of him was clamoring for him to push her against the wall and keep going. He breathed harshly. 

Fuck. All that from a single kiss.

“Kagome…”

“Inuyasha...I really am glad you’re here.” 

She gazed at him, her expression soft and full of…love? God, he hoped so. Nothing could be as perfect as this moment. Except that wasn’t quite true-- there was still one little problem. She’d kissed him and held onto him and was looking at him like he hung the fucking moon in the sky...and yet she’d wanted to spend this oh-so-important holiday away from him. Then when he showed up, she told him that at least she was going to spend it with someone she cared about, that someone being him . It was confusing as fuck.

Words weren’t exactly his strong suit so this had the potential to be a disaster. It might ruin the moment they’d just shared, but dammit it needed to be said.

“I know I wasn't your first option but I'm here. I'll...I'll celebrate your holiday with ya.” There. That sounded okay, right?

“What do you mean 'not my first option?'" Kagome repeated in absolute confusion. The smile on her face dimmed.

"Look, you made it pretty clear this holiday was to be spent with people you care about, but then left me behind,” Inuyasha said defensively.

“Wha--?? I wanted to invite you but you called the whole thing dumb!!” She pulled away a little, giving him a frown. And there went the moment.

“I do think it’s dumb. But it’s obviously important to ya, which means that it matters to me, too. I would have said yes if you had just asked me.”

“Well, maybe if you weren’t such an ass about it; I couldn’t even get the words out!”

Shit. Okay, she had a point there. His ears flattened and he looked away, cheeks reddening a bit. “I know! I’m sorry! I was an idiot, alright? I just...you said you wanted to go home for Christmas but then talked about how it was supposed to be spent with people you cared about!”

“Obviously I wanted to spend it with you, too! I love you, you idiot!” Kagome yelled, smacking his chest with a fist.

Her words hung in the air between them and she gasped. He froze and she went very still. Slowly, he turned his gaze back to her and it was her turn to go completely red. Which she felt was honestly ridiculous. She had just kissed him! So why did this make her feel so much more vulnerable?

“You what?” he finally managed, sounding like he couldn’t quite believe it.

Kagome gathered her courage, becoming acutely aware of every place her body was pressed up against his as he held her close. “I...oh, you have to be the most dense person on the planet to not have noticed.”

“Huh??”

“I’m...I’m not saying it again,” she mumbled stubbornly.

“I just...you really do? A half breed like me?”

“Don’t call yourself that!” she instantly scolded. Then, more softly, “That doesn’t matter to me. That’s never mattered to me. I want you just the way you are, Inuyasha.”

Inuyasha felt something inside him melt at that. Being vulnerable, opening himself up, allowing someone to see the deepest parts of himself...it was unheard of. Until he met her. Gradually, through her loyalty and kindness, she had changed all that. She’d made him believe in trusting someone again. And that trust in her had become something so much bigger than he could have ever imagined. He loved her, dammit. He had for a long time. And she felt the same. It was more than he could have ever hoped for.

“I want you, too, Kagome,” he said. There was so much else he wanted to say but words weren’t one of his strengths, and that wasn’t gonna change any time soon. So he did what felt right.

He kissed her again. Her lips were so soft against his and the tiny sound she made drove him crazy. When they broke apart, he didn’t think any moment in his life had ever felt as perfect as this one right here and right now. 

“Um...what does this mean, then?” Kagome said after a long pause. “For us, I mean.”

“It means you’re mine,” he replied without hesitation. 

Kagome smiled, her face radiant with happiness. Who knew two words with such magnitude were all she ever wanted to hear. “Good.”

Then the moment was promptly ruined by a sneeze from her. Inuyasha frowned.

“Dry and warm clothes. Now.”

“Okay,” she agreed easily.

A little while later, she was dry and warm and curled up beside Inuyasha on the couch in the living room. They had spent a lot of time just talking. About Naraku, Kikyo, what this meant for them and so many other things. The lights were on, including those on the Christmas tree; they twinkled at her merrily. Maybe this wasn’t the holiday she had originally envisioned but that was okay. In a way it was better than what she had been hoping for. Sitting under the branches of the tree were all the presents, but she was only concerned with one in particular. 

Extricating herself from his arms, Kagome rose and went to grab the package in question. Inuyasha looked at her curiously.

“I think I explained this before, but another important tradition of Christmas is giving to those you care about. So...I got you a present.” She stopped in front of him, holding it out. “It’s not much, but here.”

Inuyasha took the gift cautiously, as if fearing it might disappear if he wasn’t careful. “You got somethin’ for me? Is this why you didn’t--this is what you were hiding?”

Sighing, she replied, “Of course you noticed… I’m not surprised. But yeah, this is why I wasn’t as forthcoming and clearly that was all a mistake. Both of us messed up. But, obviously I got you something, stupid. Well, go on. Open it.”

His claws made short work of the wrapping paper, revealing what lay inside. He lifted the long scrap of fabric with a complicated pattern woven into the red and white yarn, and something fell out into his lap.

“It’s a scarf. I had Mama teach me how to knit and made it for you. I know it’s not very practical, but I thought maybe even hanyous get cold. But I wasn’t sure about it, so I also got you the omamori. It’s a good luck charm,” Kagome explained a little nervously. She watched him, holding her breath a little. It was hard to tell what he thought about it.

“You...made this for me?”

“Yeah.”

“No one has ever really done anything like that for me, except my mother,” Inuyasha said, looking at her in surprise. She smiled and took the scarf from him, showing him how to wrap it around his neck. He picked up the omamori and gave a fanged smile, meeting her eyes. “Also, I don’t need this.”

Kagome’s heart sank a little bit at that. “Oh?”

“You’re the only good luck charm I need.”

And just like that her spirits were lifted again. She smiled back at him, happiness bubbling inside her. “I’m glad you like it.”

“I don’t know if I can accept this, though. I didn’t get you anything,” Inuyasha admitted, his ears flattening a bit in distress.

Still smiling, Kagome used her hold on the scarf to pull him in and leaned close, her lips a mere inch from his. “That’s okay. My gift is you.”

And then she kissed him again.