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The World May Never Know by SunsetMiko

Oneshot

I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

This was written for EbonySilk's (http://community.livejournal.com/ebony_silks/) Special Challenge - Brother, and the beginning refers to the part in the last chapter of the Manga where Kagome calls Sesshoumaru 'brother'.

'Brother. She called me brother.' Sesshoumaru was enraged and it was taking every ounce of his control to keep from snatching her from where she stood beside the half-breed and reminding her of just how much he was not her brother. Three years had passed, THREE!! Three years she was missing from his life and when she finally returns not only does she not seek him out, not only does she visit with the half-breed and her friends before apparently even thinking about him, but then she calls him brother? After three years he thought she would have moved past the need to hide, but obviously he'd been wrong.

He hadn't expected it to hurt so much, but then he had never expected her to so blatantly deny everything they'd had together before she left with just a casually tossed word. Had she not missed him at all? Every single night felt like eternity for him, every night he slept alone wondering if she would ever come back. He hadn't moved on. He hadn't pursued other females. He waited for her, trying to have faith that she would return to him.

What did she even mean by that? Was she planning on mating the hanyou? While it was true that they'd never discussed mating, he had been under the impression that she no longer held feelings for Inuyasha. No, he wouldn't allow it. She was his whether she was aware of it or not. He'd finally made the decision to ask her to be his mate, finally worked up the courage it would take to admit to her just how strong his feelings were, and then she was gone.

His anger at her cooled slightly as his anger at himself grew. It was possible that she believed she meant nothing more to him than someone to have casual, incredible sex with when she could sneak away from her group. Maybe it was entirely his fault because he'd done everything he could to hide his growing emotional attachment to her.

He'd had a lot of time since she disappeared to think and he'd discovered that he'd been a fool, a giant ass, no better than the idiot hanyou who couldn't choose between the living and the dead. Every day he woke up wondering if he'd told her the truth, if he'd given up the "this Sesshoumaru needs no one," act, if maybe she would have stayed. Every night he was kept awake by the same nagging questions. Did she feel nothing for him that she could just leave, not even taking the time to say good-bye? Did she regret their time together? Did she prefer the hanyou after all?

He had to talk to her. He had to find out. She couldn't mate the hanyou. He couldn't lose her too. He'd long ago given up his desire for the hanyou's sword, but he couldn't give up his desire for her. Yes, she was human. Yes, she was a miko. Yes, she wore strange clothes, had strange sayings, and confused him at every turn but none of that mattered.

What mattered was the way her scent drew him in and calmed him like no other. What mattered was the way her voice could make the world around them fade away until all that was left was her. What mattered was how she fit perfectly in his arms. What mattered was how her body called to his, the call that he was helpless to resist. He'd never wanted anyone like he wanted her. Never in his hundreds of years of life had he experienced anything like the enigma that was Kagome and he refused to lose her to the half-breed. Inuyasha didn't deserve her. Sure, he might not either, but if the choice was between himself and his despicable half-brother she had to choose him! Didn't she?

-=-=-=-

He barely noticed as he handed Rin the kimono he'd brought, his original reason for coming to the village in the first place. Rin, however, noticed him and his uncharacteristic behavior. "Lord Sesshoumaru?" she asked softly. "Are you alright? Did you see that Lady Kagome has finally returned?"

His eyes focused on her but they were empty and she could see that he was fighting an internal battle. The little, though not quite so little as before, girl knew more than anyone thought. She was cute but she faded easily into the background if she kept quiet, something she was well aware of and often used to her advantage. She knew that her Lord and the miko Kagome had been seeing each other secretly and while she didn't know the true extent of their relationship she did know that her Lord had been devastated when Kagome disappeared. It was partly the reason why Rin had agreed to stay with Kaede so easily when it killed her to leave his side. She knew she resembled Kagome and had noticed how he seemed to avoid looking at her once the miko was gone. It was easier for him to not have to be reminded of someone who had apparently been very important to him, to not be reminded that Kagome was gone with not even the slightest hint as to if she would ever return.

Sesshoumaru sat down beside the young woman that had blossomed from the little girl that he'd cared for and protected as his ward. "When did she arrive?"

Rin smiled. She'd been right. Kagome was the source of the problem. "Just a few hours ago, my Lord. Does that mean you saw her?"

Sesshoumaru's eyes darkened and he frowned. "She called this Sesshoumaru 'brother'."

She frowned as well and thought for a moment, trying to decide just what to say and how. "Lady Kagome was surprised to find me staying here. She did ask about you, my Lord."

"What did she ask?" he inquired, barely hiding the desperation in his eyes. Rin was one of two living creatures that he could allow to see behind his cold mask, though with the way things seemed to be going she might just be the only one.

"She... she asked if you would wish to attend the wedding and mating ceremonies and celebration."

"She intends to mate the hanyou then?" His worries were confirmed and he was soon going to be drenched in his brother's blood because there was no way he would allow it.

"Yes, my Lord," Rin answered softly. Sesshoumaru snarled, startling her as she was rarely a witness to his anger. "But my Lord," she added quickly. "She did not seem enthusiastic about it. Inuyasha was the one to bring up the subject and he failed to notice her hesitance in answering. My Lord, if it is not too forward to ask, there was something between you and Lady Kagome before she disappeared, wasn't there?"

Sesshoumaru slowly nodded. "Though she did not yet know it, this Sesshoumaru intended to take her as my mate."

"Well then you have to win her back!" Rin said with the same energetic, exuberant excitement as always.

"She has accepted the hanyou's proposal. It is too late."

Rin frowned again and began searching for a solution. "Couldn't you challenge his right mate her?" Maybe listening to the demon slayer talk nonstop about everything demon related while she was too pregnant to do much else had finally proved itself useful.

"That would only allow this Sesshoumaru to court her alongside the hanyou so she can choose between her suitors." There was one other option, but he knew Kagome would never approve.

"Wouldn't that work though? You tell her how you feel, tell her how you missed her, and get her to be your mate instead!"

The taiyoukai gave Rin an appraising look. "Why do you assume this Sesshoumaru 'missed' the miko?"

A bright smile spread across her face. "My Lord Sesshoumaru taught this Rin to be observant."

He smirked at her. "Apparently you learn well."

-=-=-=-

Kagome did her best to smile as Sesshoumaru approached them. She didn't know what to say to him. She'd had three long years alone to think about it and she'd finally accepted that she'd never been more than a sex toy to him, one he enjoyed using probably just because the knowledge of their intimate activities would hurt his hated half-brother. He still hadn't told Inuyasha about their time together but that didn't mean he wouldn't it if the opportunity arose or the mood struck him.

The whole time she was sneaking off into the night to be with him she knew she was being a fool. At first it didn't matter. He paid attention to her. He made her feel good. He showed an interest in her while simultaneously not forgetting that her name wasn't Kikyo. She wanted to hurt Inuyasha like he kept hurting her and fucking his brother seemed like the best way right then. She was stupid enough to get attached, stupid enough to start falling for the taiyoukai. He'd made it very clear that they had no relationship and that they would never would, the whole tough guy 'I need no one' thing that almost made her laugh.

Being sent home and separated from the past had been a blessing in disguise. It gave her time to kill off any remaining feelings for Sesshoumaru, knowing that if she ever did make it back that Inuyasha would expect them to be together. He'd finally made his choice, even if it was far too late. With Kikyo gone, really dead with no chance of another resurrection it wasn't much of a choice anyway. She knew he only wanted her because she was the closest he could ever get to being with Kikyo. The knowledge hurt but she would still mate and marry him. She loved her hanyou, even if it was now only the love of a close friend. She couldn't blame him for using her as a Kikyo substitute when she was doing the same, the hanyou being the closest thing possible to the taiyoukai who'd managed to snag her heart but had no desire to keep it. It hurt to even think it, but she had to. When she'd spotted him for a second all her feelings flared to life again and she had to stomp them back down into the pit of her stomach. She'd called him brother so he would know that she hadn't forgotten their arrangements; know that she wouldn't disgrace herself by trying to rekindle what little they had. It was her way of telling her old lover that she understood that it was truly over and that she was moving on.

The look in his eyes when he heard her though... It had sent a chill right through her. She'd seen that look before but never directed at her. She'd seen it aimed at Naraku and his minions and even more so at Inuyasha, but he'd never looked at her with such cold distaste, disgust even, and she had to fight back tears. Apparently she hadn't been as successful at the job of banishing her feelings as she'd thought.

The look in his eyes now as he stalked purposefully toward where she and Inuyasha stood was strange. If she didn't know better she would have thought she saw nervousness, even fear in his eyes, but she did know better, or at least she thought she did. She could clearly identify anger and hatred along with an obvious look of challenge in his expression and she began to worry that he was finally going to reveal their closely guarded secret. Would he really tell Inuyasha she'd gone behind his back to fuck his brother? Inuyasha would never forgive her, even though it happened so long ago, and Sesshoumaru knew that. Did he really hate her so much that he would purposely ruin her future with the hanyou just for a little bit of cruelly obtained entertainment? She didn't want to think so, but she wouldn't put it past him.

When he was in normal speaking distance she put on her best fake smile, which wasn't a good one at all really, and turned to face him. She grimaced for a moment as Inuyasha wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her tightly to his side, but she hid her discomfort quickly, hoping neither male noticed. Sesshoumaru didn't even look at her, instead focusing completely on his half-brother who just happened to be the enemy. Gold met gold as the hanyou stared him down. There was something about the way the taiyoukai was looking at him that raised his hackles, ready and waiting for the coming confrontation. Kagome gave up the forced smile, filled with worry wondering what was going to come out of his mouth.

"This Sesshoumaru challenges you for the right to mate the miko."

Kagome's eyes widened with shock. Of all the possible things he could have said, that she hadn't expected.

Apparently Inuyasha had been just as surprised as he sputtered for a moment before responding. "You what? Why the fuck would you challenge me for Kagome?"

Kagome scowled at his tone. "And why not?" the now pissed miko snarled. "You don't think he could be interested in me? What? I'm not pretty enough for him?"

Inuyasha immediately launched into damage control, or at least his version of it. "Kagome! I didn't mean that! If anything you're too pretty for the bastard! Why the fuck do you even care?" He gave her a bewildered look before turning back to his incredibly confusing older brother. "Why the hell do you want her? Just because I have her?" He smirked smugly as he continued. "Ya jealous?"

"Foolish half-breed. This Sesshoumaru is not the one who should be jealous."

"Don't... you... dare," Kagome growled threateningly. She shrugged Inuyasha's arm from around her waist and stomped towards Sesshoumaru, grabbing one billowy sleeve and yanking him away. Inuyasha just stood there and watched in utter disbelief as his vicious, ruthless half-brother allowed himself to be dragged along behind a human woman. After a few minutes her steps slowed. "Can he still hear us?" she whispered.

The taiyoukai nodded and grasped her hand, their fingers interlocking automatically as he led her further away. He couldn't help but notice how her hand fit so perfectly in his own and how even such an innocent touch heated his blood and made his heart beat faster. Once he was sure they were out of range of the hanyou's hearing he stopped and nodded again.

"What in the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed. "You made it very clear that there was nothing between us and that there never would be. Why are you trying to screw up what little I have left?"

Sesshoumaru looked at her for a long silent moment before reaching out with the hand not still holding hers to softly caress her cheek. "This Sesshoumaru can not allow you to mate the hanyou."

Kagome's thoughts whirled, confused by his tender touch while still furious at his interference. "Why the fuck not? It's not like you want me! This isn't a game, Sesshoumaru. This is my life and I will not let you ruin it just so you can get some sick, twisted entertainment out of his pain! We agreed we would never tell him and I won't stand there and let you do it."

"I did not challenge Inuyasha to hurt him or you. It was my only option as you had already accepted his proposal. Tell me, Kagome, how could you leave? How could you disappear without even a word? This Sesshoumaru had no way of knowing if you ever intended to return."

"It wasn't my choice to leave, "she said bitterly. "The well sent me back. I didn't get to say good-bye to anyone. I still don't see why it matters."

Sesshoumaru growled in frustration before sliding his hand from her cheek into her hair, pulling her close to finally kiss her again. It had been far too long since he'd tasted her sweet lips. The kiss started slow and hesitant as he wondered if she would pull away from him, growing in passion as her arms wrapped around his neck. When they broke apart for breath he stared deeply into her eyes, willing her to understand. "This Sesshoumaru was a fool, trying to convince both you and myself that I felt nothing for you."

"What are you trying to say?" Kagome asked slowly, fighting with every last bit of her strength to keep from letting herself fall to his charms.

"Shortly before you disappeared this Sesshoumaru came to a decision, but I did not get the chance to speak with you, to ask you."

"Ask me what?" He couldn't be saying what it sounded like he was. He'd always been so certain to remind her that they would never be more than casual lovers. Had he changed his mind?

"I intended to ask you to be this Sesshoumaru's mate."

Sesshoumaru didn't get the chance to say more and Kagome didn't get to respond because at that moment an angry hanyou landed a few feet away from where they stood. Kagome's arms were still around the taiyoukai's neck and he had one hand in her hair, the other resting on her hip.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing? Get your hands off her, you bastard!"

Kagome's shoulders slumped and she slowly pulled away from the taiyoukai. "It's too little, too late, Sesshoumaru. I agreed to be mate Inuyasha."

"Damn straight! She's mine and she always will be!" At the moment Inuyasha didn't care why Kagome had seemed so comfortable in his brother's embrace or why she looked so sad when she spoke. All he cared about was knocking his brother down a notch or two.

Kagome looked from one male to the other for a moment before turning and walking away. She couldn't stand there and watch. It already felt like her heart had been shattered into a million pieces. She couldn't take anymore pain.

Sesshoumaru watched her retreat with longing in his eyes before returning his attention to the half-breed. "This Sesshoumaru has challenged you. You know very well that you cannot mate her until the challenge has been resolved."

"Like I give a fuck about youkai law. Kagome has always been mine and will always be mine."

Sesshoumaru smirked darkly but kept his mouth shut. She didn't want him to tell the hanyou about their secret meetings and for now he would do as she wished. He didn't need to give her a reason to be angry with him. "Whether you care to abide by youkai mating laws matters not. You will be unable to successfully make her your mate until the challenge has been properly addressed and resolved. You risk injuring or killing her if you attempt to mate her before then. Certainly you do not wish to risk the life of your desired mate."

Inuyasha sent his brother a death glare. "Why do you want her so fucking bad?"

"I believe that is between the miko and this Sesshoumaru. Since you know little of youkai laws and traditions I shall explain things to you. There are two options to address a mating challenge. Either both males court her, allowing her to choose which would be the better mate, the better protector and provider for her and any future pups, or the two males fight for the right to mate her."

"I'll fucking fight you right here and now!" Inuyasha snarled. He hated it when he didn't understand things and he just couldn't fathom why Sesshoumaru could possibly want to mate Kagome or why she would care or hadn't flat out told him no. He wanted to get the whole thing over with so he could make her his mate permanently, ensuring that no one could ever take her from him.

"Ah, patience little brother. It is not up to either of us. Kagome must choose which option she prefers."

Inuyasha glared at him threateningly. He didn't know what Kagome would pick and it bugged him. Would she have faith that he could kick Sesshoumaru's ass or did she think his brother was stronger than him? "Well then let's go ask the wench."

The hanyou had no idea what hit him as he went flying into a tree. Apparently Sesshoumaru didn't approve of his disrespect for the miko as he'd backhanded his brother before turning around and walking in the direction Kagome had gone. He needed to talk to her. He needed to be close to her. He'd missed her more than he'd ever imagined possible and he wanted to wrap his arms around her and never let go again. He followed the trail of her scent to the village, finding her sitting in Kaede's hut with only Rin as company. Sesshoumaru stood in the doorway for a few moments, just looking at the two most important females in his life.

-=-=-=-

Kagome sighed, finally losing the battle with her tears. Rin's fingers slid slowly through her hair as the older female wept against her shoulder. "Why do you cry, Lady Kagome?" she asked her softly. "Do you not wish to be my Lord Sesshoumaru's mate?" The miko's shoulders shook harder in response. "I know that he tried to hide his feelings from you then, but surely you could still see them. Lord Sesshoumaru cannot hide his emotions as well as he thinks he does... not if you really look for them."

"I thought I was imagining it, that I was seeing what I wanted to see. I spent the last three years trying to convince myself that it meant nothing to me just like it meant nothing to him. Why? Why does he tell me now when I've finally moved on?"

"He intended to tell you three years ago, but you disappeared before he could."

"It's too late. I... I don't love him anymore." Kagome's voice cracked as she spoke and tears continued to pour down her cheeks. "I'm going to mate Inuyasha. Sesshoumaru will have to move on like I had to."

Rin looked surprised by Kagome's words. If she no longer loved Sesshoumaru then why did she cry? How could she mate with the hanyou when she knew that he was really mating with what was left of Kikyo in her? Brown eyes looked up and widened when she saw her Lord standing in the entrance. Had he heard Kagome's declaration? The look in his eyes told her he had.

She loved him? Kagome had loved him... but she didn't anymore? He felt his heart sink, but he still refused to give in. He could make it up to her. He could make her love him again. Decision made, Sesshoumaru pushed the bamboo curtain aside and walked into the hut.

Kagome glanced up and quickly wiped away her tears, turning to look anywhere else but at him. Why did he have to show up? Why did he have to challenge Inuyasha? Why did he have to make everything so hard?! She looked toward the entrance again as she heard the makeshift door hit the wall. Inuyasha stomped into the hut, walked right up to Sesshoumaru, and tried to punch him, the taiyoukai simply catching his fist in his hand. The hanyou cursed as his brother slowly squeezed his hand, surprised when he released him before shattering the bones in his fingers.

"Kagome, you gotta decide. You want me and the bastard to court you so he can embarrass himself and you can pick me or do you want us to fight so I can kick his ass and then mate ya? Pick the fight. I wanna get this over with. "

The miko looked at Inuyasha in shock. He certainly was confident that he would win no matter which she chose. She slowly shook her head at his stupidity before forcing herself to look into Sesshoumaru's eyes. "I have to choose?" When he nodded she continued. "Inuyasha obviously prefers the fight. Do you have a preference?"

Sesshoumaru didn't know what to say. If she chose the courting then he would have time to show her his true feelings and get her to love him again, but the fight would end it now. He knew he could best his brother easily, and with the hanyou out of the running and out of his way everything would be easier, but what if he won and she still refused him? With the courting option he at least was guaranteed time with her where she would have to listen to him. Finally he decided that the fight was his best option. Besides, if he said he preferred the courting then the hanyou would assume he was afraid he would lose and he just didn't want to hear it.

"This Sesshoumaru would prefer to fight for you." His voice didn't sound quite right, no matter how hard he tried to speak normally. He just couldn't get her words out of his head. 'It's too late. I don't love him anymore.' And he thought her calling him brother hurt.

Kagome studied his face, having noticed the slight difference in his voice. She tried for a moment to decipher what she saw in his eyes but finally gave up as she heard the hanyou's impatient grumbling. "Fine. I choose the fight. Go beat the shit out each other. I don't care anymore."

Inuyasha made a triumphant noise before launching into an annoying speech about just how badly he was going to cream Sesshoumaru, how he was going to rip him to shreds, tear him to pieces, make him wish he'd never been born, and on and on and on until Kagome finally had enough.

"Shut the hell up, Inuyasha. If you're gonna kick his ass so bad then just go do it!"

"You don't have to be such a bitch about it, Kagome," Inuyasha responded in irritation. "Aren't you gonna come watch me fi..." His annoyed voice was cut off when Sesshoumaru's hand once again sent him flying.

The taiyoukai stepped out of the hut, stalking to where Inuyasha groaned, attempting to get off the ground. "You do not speak of or to Kagome in such a way. Do you understand me, half-breed?"

"How I talk to Kagome is none of your fucking business!" he snarled.

Kagome walked out of the hut with Rin by her side, the miko's shoulders squared and her face nearly as emotionless as Sesshoumaru's very best 'I could care less' look. "If you're gonna fight then you need to get away from the village. They don't deserve to get their homes destroyed because you're both assholes."

Inuyasha opened his mouth to respond, and not even slightly politely either, but he suddenly found himself being dragged away, Sesshoumaru holding on to the back of his haori. Kagome and Rin followed, Kagome with a small smirk on her face as she watched the hanyou struggle and fail to get to his feet over and over again. After about ten minutes of walking the taiyoukai decided they were a safe distance from the village and dropped Inuyasha on his ass.

"Hey!" Kagome yelled. "Are there any rules to this?"

"The rules are entirely up to the desired mate," Sesshoumaru answered.

"Fine then. No swords, but Inuyasha has to keep his on. No poison. No armor."

"Lady Kagome? What about the fire rat? Is it not similar to armor?" Rin asked. While she wasn't worried for her Lord, certain he would beat his brother easily, she still wanted the fight to be as fair as possible.

The miko's smirk widened. She glanced from Sesshoumaru, who was already removing his armor, to a very dusty looking Inuyasha and back. "Inuyasha, take your haori off. You too, Sesshoumaru. Bare chests and claws. You can use your youki whip and he can use his blades of blood, all of your own attacks are allowed except for the poison because he has no equivalent." Kagome gave a nod as a sign she was finished speaking but then frowned. "How is the winner determined? First blood... first to lose consciousness? There is no way in hell you're fighting to the death."

Inuyasha let out an angry "K'eh," while stripping off everything but his hakama and growled. "What wench? Don't think I can kick his ass? Let me kill the bastard! He deserves it!"

Kagome glared at the obnoxious hanyou. "Maybe I should just let him kill you. It would save me a lot of trouble."

A small smirk pulled at Sesshoumaru's lips. She had to know he would inevitably be the victor and he decided to take it as a sign that she wished to be his mate rather than the half-breed's. "For the battle to end, the loser must submit. If one competitor loses consciousness then the fight must start again once he wakes."

Kagome found herself rather distracted as Sesshoumaru removed his haori. She had always found his body irresistible and it was quite difficult to keep from drooling or walking over there and running her hands over his sculpted chest and abdomen. Finally she realized that he'd said something. "Huh? Submit?"

"He must admit defeat, surrender."

She finally managed to drag her eyes away from his body and laughed bitterly, trying to cover her distraction and its result. "Ha! This fight is never going to end because neither of you would ever give up."

"You also have the choice to end the battle if you feel that the victor is clear."

Rin looked at the miko and grinned. "Are you feeling alright, Lady Kagome? You look rather flushed."

Kagome's blush darkened as she watched two canine noses begin to twitch. "I'm fine, Rin," she answered through clenched teeth. Why did Rin have to draw their attention to her? Now they both knew that she was aroused and by the look of them they were both absolutely certain they were the cause. "Alright, I can end the fight and you know the rules, so why don't you just start and get this over with?"

"Works for me," Inuyasha said smugly. "The sooner I kick his ass the sooner I can help you out with your little problem. Nice to know I can turn you on so easily."

Both Kagome and Sesshoumaru frowned and while the hanyou was busy gloating, the taiyoukai formed his youki whip, snapping it on the growing tent in the front of Inuyasha's hakama, making him yelp and double over in pain.

Kagome couldn't hold back her laughter. How the hell did Inuyasha think he was going to win if he couldn't shut up and fight? Finally he pushed through the pain and stood straight once more, immediately rushing towards his brother, one hand raised and claws extended as he let out a battle cry. Sesshoumaru stepped to the side, causing Inuyasha to miss him completely and stumble as he tried to regain his balance. The taiyoukai turned and delivered several lashes to the hanyou's exposed back and Kagome let out a hiss of sympathy as long red welts rose on his tan skin.

She'd seen them fight each other so many times she found she could easily predict their movements, the only difference being that Sesshoumaru seemed to be trying harder whereas in the past he'd appeared to be playing with his younger half-brother. It was strange seeing the taiyoukai look so determined, and the seriousness in his eyes made her heart beat faster. Not liking how easily he could affect her she decided she didn't need to watch, not for a while at least. They would probably fight for hours before she had to declare a winner. Instead she took the time to think.

Was it possible that Sesshoumaru really did want her as his mate, not to hurt Inuyasha or to finally have something his brother wanted instead of the other way around, but because he had feelings for her? She didn't want to believe it. She knew she would just end up disappointed if she allowed herself to think he could love her. She wasn't sure why she'd chosen the fight rather than the courting except that she didn't want this competition to drag out forever. Kagome had no idea who she hoped would win, though she did have a good idea who would come out on top in the end.

She knew she was absolutely full of shit when she told Rin she no longer loved him. She would always love him. Her feelings for the Western Lord, even at the very beginning, were ten times stronger than anything she'd ever felt for Inuyasha. It was incredibly painful to have him touch her so gently, kiss her with such passion, and make love to her when she knew that to him it had nothing at all to do with love. The way he caressed her skin, the heat in his eyes as he brought her to climax after climax... how the hell could she be expected to not fall for him?

She'd been absolutely miserable for three years in her time as she tried to convince herself that she didn't love him just like she knew he didn't love her. Even now he hadn't confessed love to her, just that he'd planned on asking her to be his mate. She couldn't even begin to count how many times he'd told her he didn't believe in love, that emotion was useless and did nothing but make you weak. Even if he wanted her as his mate that didn't mean he loved her. Could she be with him knowing he would never feel about her the same way she did him? Kagome sighed. She'd been planning on mating Inuyasha and she knew he didn't really love her, just the Kikyo he could see in her, but she didn't love Inuyasha anymore, not like she did Sesshoumaru, so it wouldn't have been anywhere near as painful.

She was tired of heartache. All she wanted was to be happy, or at least as close as she could get. Maybe she would have been better off staying in her own time. At least there she could be certain that her husband would love her. She could have stayed and gotten married. Hojo had proposed before graduation, even though they'd never so much as gone on a date before. He, she knew, would have always loved her, would have told her so, shown her so. He would have taken care of her, working tirelessly to ensure that she was always happy. Why couldn't she love Hojo or someone like him? Why couldn't she fall for the nice guy for once?

Rin nudged her, drawing her attention to the battle still going on before her. Her heart ached as she saw the mess of overlapping scratches and slices on both of their chests. Sesshoumaru had actually been injured, was bleeding for her, for the right to be her mate. Would Hojo have bled for her? She knew Inuyasha would. He had always been willing to risk his life for her safety, but she knew he was never really protecting Kagome. He was just trying to make up for failing to protect Kikyo while fighting to hold on to the closest thing to his true love that he could get. She could hear Inuyasha yelling and paid closer attention, trying to figure out what he was saying.

His rant was interspersed with grunts of pain and snarls of triumph when he managed to land a hit while Sesshoumaru remained silent, focused entirely on the battle at hand. "The first thing I'm going to do when I win is fuck her senseless. She's a virgin, you know. I'm gonna bend her over and fuck her 'til she can't walk and then I'm gonna fuck her some more. She's mine. I don't know what the hell you want with her, but I can tell you right now, Kagome's going to end this and name me the winner. She doesn't want you! Nobody will ever want you. Who would want a smug, arrogant, cold, heartless asshole for a mate? She loves me. She's loved me since the first time she laid eyes on me and now she can have me. Why would she give that up to be with a demon with an icicle for a dick?"

Kagome was absolutely shocked by Inuyasha's words and amazed that Sesshoumaru hadn't responded. Apparently the hanyou didn't care about being gentle or hurting her during her 'first time'. She remembered the night Sesshoumaru took her virginity. He'd been so careful, making sure that she was truly ready, watching her intently; prepared to stop in a second if she experienced any pain. How could she believe that he didn't care about her when a powerful and deadly demon such as he handled her with such tenderness? Tears slowly began to roll down her cheeks once more as she recalled his touch, how even the simple brush of his fingertips could send waves of pleasure through her entire body.

His words echoed in her mind and her eyes narrowed as she wiped away her tears. He'd made his decision a long time ago. He didn't want a weak, pathetic, useless human. He would never desire more than to use her body for his own enjoyment. She refused to be nothing but a toy again. She'd always been a toy to Sesshoumaru and now it was obvious she would be nothing but a toy to Inuyasha as well. It was decided. She was going home. She stood up and walked away, ignoring it as Rin called after her.

After Kagome had been gone several minutes and it became apparent she had no intention of returning, Rin called out to her Lord, catching his attention and alerting him to Kagome's departure. Using every ounce of rage that had been growing as his idiotic excuse for a sibling ran his mouth; Sesshoumaru punched Inuyasha, knocking him flat on his back and out cold. He had to catch her. He had to find out what was wrong, why she left, and he had a feeling that he needed to do so quickly. He didn't stop to pick up his clothes, armor, fur, or swords, Kagome being more important than any and all of it. Instead he ran after her, finally spotting her dangerously close to the well that he knew was the portal to her time. He hadn't had a second to spare as he raced towards her, catching her in his arms before she could jump into the well and disappear on him again.

"Let me go!" she screamed at him, struggling to escape his grasp. "I am not going to be a toy again! I'm a fucking person, a human being! I will not be something to be played with and then ignored, used and tossed aside. I will not!"

Sesshoumaru refused to release her, doing everything he could to keep Kagome from injuring herself as she struggled against him. "You were never a toy to this Sesshoumaru," he hissed as she kicked him.

"Bullshit!" she screamed, kicking harder.

"Kagome, stop! You are only going to injure yourself. You will not escape me."

"Just let me go!"

Sesshoumaru sighed, rearranging her so that he could hold her with one arm while his other hand moved to her shoulder, pushing firmly with his thumb until she went limp in his hold. He lifted her unconscious form into his arms bridal style and carried her away from the well.

-=-=-=-

Rin was sitting in Kaede's hut, slowly stirring the stew simmering over the fire when Inuyasha burst in. "Where the fuck is she? What did he do to her?"

The young girl looked up at him and glared. "I do not know where either Lady Kagome or Lord Sesshoumaru is at present."

"I followed her scent to the well but she didn't make it inside. I know he took her. The whole area was filled with the scent of her anger and tears. If he hurts her..." the hanyou's threat trailed off. "He took her home with him, didn't he?" When Rin didn't answer he repeated his question, louder this time. "He took her home, didn't he?"

"I have already told you I know not where they are."

"Useless lying little bitch," he snarled under his breath before turning and stomping out of the hut like a child throwing a temper tantrum.

Rin rolled her eyes and returned to her task. 'I hope she is safe with you, my Lord,' she thought, the hanyou's words making her nervous. What if a demon or bandit caught her before she made it to the well, before the taiyoukai reached her? She shook the dark thought out of her head. She had complete faith in Lord Sesshoumaru. He would never allow something like that to happen, especially not to Kagome.

-=-=-=-

"Uggghhh," Kagome groaned, finally stirring and immediately drawing Sesshoumaru's attention to her.

He hated that he had to do that to her, but he couldn't allow her to leave him, not before she listened to what he had to say. He couldn't lose her again. She would hear him out, finally know the truth, and then he would allow her to decide if she wished to stay with him or leave once more. He knew he would only have this one chance. He had to make it count. "Kagome," he said softly, causing her to turn her head towards him, her brilliant blue eyes trying to focus on his face.

Slowly understanding dawned on her face as her memory returned and she sat up quickly. "What the hell did you do to me? Where are we?" she asked, actual fear in her voice, the sound and scent of which turned the taiyoukai's stomach. She should know he would never hurt her. Why was she afraid of him?

"We are at this Sesshoumaru's home and you have nothing to fear."

"Nothing to fear? You knocked me out and kidnapped me!"

"You would not stop struggling. You were going to cause yourself injury. All this Sesshoumaru desires of you is for you to listen. If you hear what I have to say and still wish to leave, I will personally escort you back to the well."

Kagome flopped back down on the bed and turned her back towards him. "Fuck you. I don't want to hear anything you have to say. Too little, too late. You missed your chance."

Sesshoumaru frowned and walked around to the other side of the bed, only for her to roll the opposite direction, again presenting him with her back in a blatant sign of rejection. They repeated the same actions several times before the taiyoukai snarled and climbed on the bed, forcefully rolling her onto her back and kneeling over her hips while holding her hands over her head so she couldn't turn away again. "This Sesshoumaru does not care if you wish to listen or not. You have no choice. I refuse to let you leave me without hearing me out first." Kagome rolled her eyes before closing them, further frustrating him. "You, Kagome, can be absolutely infuriating." He knew he needed to calm down before he tried to talk to her, leaning down to nuzzle his nose into the crook of her neck, breathing her scent in deeply, trying to ignore the scent of anger and the lingering stench of fear.

"Why are you so intent on leaving this Sesshoumaru?" he asked softly without pulling away.

"You didn't want me then. You only want me now because I was with Inuyasha. I'm tired of being used," she bit out angrily.

"You are wrong on both counts."

"Sure I am," she growled, trying to move away from him when he began to trail kisses up her throat.

"You are." His lips reached her jaw line and she turned her head away. "Kagome, this Sesshoumaru awaited your return. I have touched no other since I first experienced the pleasure of touching you. If you were nothing but a toy you would be easy to replace, but you are not. No one could take your place. Finding someone to fill the vast emptiness you left in me when you disappeared would be impossible. Only you can make me whole."

Kagome's eyes pinched tightly closed and a single tear slipped down one cheek. "Let me go," she whispered.

"Will you try to escape me again?" Her refusal to reply answered for her and he shook his head. "I cannot lose you. Why can you not understand that?"

"You're certainly not going to gain my trust by kidnapping me and then pinning me to the bed."

"Then tell me what this Sesshoumaru should do. Tell me how to make you hear what I'm saying. Tell me how to make you love me again."

"Let me go," she repeated through her tightly clenched jaw. "You can't make me love you again. It's done. It's over with. It's gone and it's not coming back. How do I make you hear me?"

"I have to try," he murmured against her throat before dragging his tongue over her throbbing pulse. "Kagome, this Sesshoumaru was a fool to hide my feelings from you."

"Yeah, feelings... right. You can't feel anything. You would have to have a heart for that," she said angrily. She gasped as she felt his fangs close around the crook of her neck and shoulder, not enough to break the skin but more than enough to ensure she felt it. "Biting me isn't going to help," she hissed as the pressure increased.

Just when she was sure he was going to draw blood he released her, sliding his tongue over the developing bruise in apology. He was frustrated and didn't have a clue how to proceed while his beast paced inside his mind. She wasn't a demon. He couldn't treat her like one and expect her to understand, but when the beast demanded he gain her submission he hadn't been able to stop himself. "Kagome, please just listen to me."

"Why the hell should I?"

He snarled and faster than she could blink her wrists were being held by one strong hand while the other forcefully turned her head. He pressed his lips to hers and she whimpered, her fear returning at his less than gentle touch. Maybe refusing to listen to him was a mistake. She'd been sure that he would never hurt her before he knocked her out. She'd been certain he wouldn't force himself on her before he held her down and kissed her roughly. She had always believed she was safe with him, that she was exempt from his anger and punishment, but maybe she was wrong.

When he pulled back to let her breathe she saw that his eyes were rapidly bleeding crimson. Her fear increased to terror and she began to struggle against him once more. She needed to get away. His beast was surfacing and while she'd always believed him in the past when he told her his beast would cause her no harm, she wasn't so sure anymore.

The scent of her terror immediately brought him back to himself and he frowned as she continued to struggle. His free hand caressed her cheek and this time gently turned her face to look at him. "This Sesshoumaru will never hurt you. My beast would never hurt you." She didn't say a word but the fear did not leave her eyes and he could feel her begin to shake beneath him as tears streamed from the corners of her eyes to stain the pillow beneath her head. "Please don't be afraid of me." His thumb brushed away the tears on one side of her face and he leaned down to kiss away the other salty trail.

Kagome swallowed the lump in her throat and managed a shaky whisper. "I'll listen. Just let me go."

"Have you forgotten that I can detect your lies? I know you have no intention of hearing me, just as I know that the love you deny still remains."

"How can you hold me down and then tell me I love you? How could you look into my eyes and tell me that you don't believe in love and now expect me to love you? How could you remind me time and time again that there would never be anything but sex between us and now want me to believe the opposite."

"This Sesshoumaru has already admitted to being wrong. I lied to you just as I lied to myself. I was going to ask you to be my mate on our next meeting, but there never was a next meeting. Instead I had to find out from the monk that you were gone. I waited three years for you and I would have waited four hundred and ninety seven more if necessary to see you, to hold you in my arms, and to kiss your soft lips once more." He paused and studied her face, trying to determine if he was getting through or not. "When I told you that I did not believe in love, I spoke the truth. I did not believe in love because I had never experienced it before and did not think it possible. You, Kagome, showed me I was wrong."

Just as Sesshoumaru opened his mouth to say the three words Kagome needed to hear more than any other Inuyasha came crashing through the window, having tracked his brother and Kagome's scent in the direction of the taiyoukai's home. After speaking with Rin he was certain that was where his brother had taken his Kagome and ran as fast as he could to 'rescue' her from the bastard. Finding the miko pinned under his brother's body, obviously against her will, made his blood boil and he launched himself at Sesshoumaru, knocking him off the bed to the floor, allowing Kagome the chance to jump up and hide in a corner. The room was far too small for the brothers to fight in and she knew she needed to stay out of the way or risk being collateral damage along with the poor innocent window and furniture.

"I always knew you were an asshole, but trying to rape my mate? What the fuck is the matter with you?" Inuyasha roared.

The hanyou had the upper hand, having caught Sesshoumaru entirely off guard, and as Kagome watched them struggle she became more and more afraid, not for her own safety but for that of her taiyoukai. Her thoughts came to a screeching halt as she realized what she'd just heard herself think. 'My taiyoukai? My taiyoukai. My taiyoukai!' Every time she thought the phrase it sounded a little more right and before she knew what she was doing she was on Inuyasha's back, trying to force him off her taiyoukai. The hanyou was surprised for a moment before throwing her off of him, not even noticing as she slammed into the stone wall, her body sliding limply to the floor.

The scent of her blood filled the room and suddenly Inuyasha was no longer winning. Sesshoumaru's eyes bled crimson and he buried his claws in the hanyou's chest before rolling him under his body, using his superior strength and his weight to hold the hanyou to the floor. He glanced in Kagome's direction, seeing that she was out cold, and with one well placed fist, Inuyasha was again unconscious, this time with a shattered jaw to go with it. Even with his beast in control he knew he couldn't kill the half-breed. She had forbidden it in her rules of the mating challenge and she had yet to officially end the battle.

In seconds she was in his arms and his fingers searched through her mess of sticky black hair, trying to determine where the blood was coming from and just how badly she was injured. If she died, the hanyou would immediately follow. Guilt overwhelmed him as he held her tightly to his chest. He had no idea why she had suddenly leapt into the fight but it didn't matter. He should have been able to protect her and instead she was injured and unconscious. He rose to his feet, carefully carrying her out of the bedroom and down the hall.

Opening another door, he entered the room that contained his enclosed hot spring, not bothering to remove either of their clothes as he stepped into the steaming water. He made sure to keep her face above water with one hand while the other moved through her hair, washing away the blood that had been obstruction his sight of the wound. He sat on the ledge, moving her frighteningly limp form so that he could once again study her scalp, finally finding the source of the bleeding. He gently touched the area, making sure that her skull was intact, finally giving a sigh of relief as he found the injury was nowhere near as serious as he'd first thought. He moved her hair away from the wound and carefully trailed a claw along the edges, his poison searing the opening closed while thanking any god that would listen that she didn't have to experience it.

Her breathing and heart beat remained normal as the bleeding stopped and he took the time to check her over for more injuries. Her back was covered in nasty bruises, but he could find nothing broken so he once again sent his thanks to the gods. She would be alright. She would heal and she would wake up and everything would be fine... except for the fact that she still seemed to hate him despite his best efforts to win her over. He carried her out of the water, peeled off her soaking wet clothing, and dried her body lovingly. He checked the wound on her scalp once more before taking her to another bedroom since his had been destroyed during the fight, laying her carefully on the bed and covering her to make sure she stayed warm.

Before he left he took a moment to glance at himself in the mirror, grimacing at what he saw. Sure, he was already healing, but it was more than obvious that he'd taken a beating the likes of which he'd never known before. Again guilt rose up inside him. Had she jumped into the fight to help him? Had she been worried? He tried to remember how she looked as she landed on the hanyou's back before she was thrown off and could see a look of worry and determination on her face. She very well could have been killed because the hanyou had managed to get the better of him. He was a disgrace, unworthy of one as perfect as Kagome.

He would not allow Inuyasha to catch him off guard again. He dragged the still unconscious hanyou into a room with no windows, locking the heavy door with his half brother trapped inside. It wouldn't hold him forever, but the noise he would make trying to escape would be enough to warn him that he was finally awake. It would be some time before Inuyasha regained consciousness; his body needed additional time to heal his shattered jaw. He had at least several more hours than the last time he'd knocked out the fool. Once he woke, Sesshoumaru intended to teach him a lesson about the delicate and breakable nature of a human female. The taiyoukai was still enraged and while he blamed himself at least partially for her injury, Inuyasha had been the one to throw her against a stone wall. He would pay for doing so.

-=-=-=-

Her head felt like it had been crushed by an elephant and every inch of her body screamed in agony as she tried to move. She let out a gasp of pain and immediately golden eyes were visible beside her. "Do not try to move. It will only increase your discomfort," a soft voice said slowly.

"What... the hell... happened to... me," she asked, pausing multiple times to wince as the sound of her voice made her pounding head worse.

"You jumped on the half-breed's back while we were fighting and he threw you off. You hit the wall rather hard. You did have a gash on the back of your head, but this Sesshoumaru sealed it to stop the bleeding. I can do very little for the bruises on your back however. I must know, Kagome. Why did you get involved?"

A small smile pulled at her lips and his breath caught in his throat. He hadn't seen a genuine smile on her face since before she'd disappeared three years ago. "He was hurting my taiyoukai," she whispered.

"Your taiyoukai?" he whispered back in question.

"My taiyoukai."

"Kagome...?" Did this mean she forgave him? Was she admitting to her feelings for him? Would she now agree to be his as she declared him hers?

One arm lifted shakily from the bed and reached for him. Sesshoumaru leaned in closer and she closed her fist around a lock of his long silver hair. Giving a gentle tug she guided his face towards hers, finally pressing her lips to his. "You were going to say it." When he looked confused she smiled again. "Before Inuyasha came flying through the window... you really were going to say it... Weren't you?"

It took only seconds for him to realize what she meant and he nodded before kissing her again. "I was. Kagome, you made me believe in it. You let me experience it. You proved to me it was possible after all. You showed me what love is. You taught me how to love." He sucked in a nervous breath and for a moment they both waited for something to happen, for something else to come between them, but it never came. Sesshoumaru looked into her eyes that were glistening with unshed tears. "I love you, Kagome."

A single tear rolled down her cheek and she pulled him in for a long, passionate kiss. "I love you too, Sesshoumaru."

It was at that moment that they both heard a crashing sound and Sesshoumaru frowned. "The hanyou has awakened earlier than I had anticipated."

"I'm surprised you didn't kill him," she said with amusement dancing in her eyes. "The battle is still going on, isn't it? I never ended it and I know he didn't submit."

"Yes, the battle continues for mating rights." Another, louder crash startled the miko, causing her to jump slightly, and she hissed in pain as her muscles protested. Sesshoumaru rose from where he knelt beside the bed and opened the door just in time to catch Inuyasha by the hair as the hanyou lost his balance, having just thrown his body weight against it in an attempted to break into the room. He held Inuyasha at arms length, the hanyou still weak from his injuries. "Look, little brother, at what you did to your desired mate. Will you submit or do you desire for this Sesshoumaru to beat it out of you?"

Inuyasha's eyes widened as he saw how pale and weak Kagome looked, only then remembering that he'd tossed her off his back. He struggled to free his hair from his brother's grasp but stopped when he heard Kagome clear her throat. Both males turned their full attention towards her and Kagome spoke. "I am ending the battle. It is obvious that Sesshoumaru is the victor. That and he didn't try to crack my skull against the wall like an egg! Just leave, Inuyasha. You lose."

The hanyou looked at her like she'd lost her mind but when he opened his mouth to protest Sesshoumaru beat him to it. "The battle has ended. I am no longer bound to the rules established for it. There is now nothing keeping me from killing you. You are lucky I have not yet snapped your neck for injuring her. My mate told you to leave. I suggest you do so."

Inuyasha very quickly found himself tossed out on his ass and for quite a while all he could do was stare at the now closed front door in shock. He couldn't believe his furry ears! Kagome had actually chosen Sesshoumaru over him! If it hadn't come from her very lips... Hell, it had come directly from her lips and he still couldn't comprehend what had just happened. Eventually the hanyou walked away slowly, heading in the general direction of the village. Maybe Miroku could explain things, because he was absolutely lost.

Sesshoumaru returned to Kagome's side immediately and was more than surprised to find her sitting upright; leaning against several pillows she'd piled behind her for support. He'd been certain she couldn't move and that she wouldn't be able to for some time. Seeing the confusion painted all over his face, the miko giggled. "What? Are you telling me you didn't learn anything new in the last three years?"

"Besides how empty my life was without you, this Sesshoumaru did not learn much. What, pray tell, did you learn that enabled you to move when injured so severely?"

She shot him a bright smile and he watched in awe as a soft pink glow surrounded her body before fading away. "I found out that keeping up with my school work was incredibly easy when I wasn't living in two worlds at once... and I got bored."

"So you learned how to heal yourself?"

"I learned how to do all kinds of things. It's amazing what a little free time can do for your miko training. Now, you called me your mate just a minute ago, but I'm not your mate." When he frowned at her and furrowed his eyebrows in worried confusion she held out a hand towards him. "Not yet at least."

His lips turned up in a smirk and made his way across the room to her side. "Are you still in pain?" he asked while sitting beside her and leaning her forward slightly so he could see her back. He was surprised and delighted to find her bruises gone without a trace.

"Not a bit, but I am curious as to why I'm naked."

"Your hair was caked with blood and this Sesshoumaru could not locate the wound without rinsing it clean."

She smiled as he encouraged her to lean back again and moved closer. "Are you sure you didn't just want to take my clothes off?"

"No, but that does not mean I did not enjoy it." One hand slid into her hair, no longer worried about the wound on her scalp. "This Sesshoumaru is glad you learned how to heal yourself. I am unsure how long I would have been able to resist touching you."

"The world may never know," she whispered with a smirk, leaning up to meet his lips eagerly with her own. "You have no idea how much I missed you."

"I think that I do, my mate." His hands slid through her silky black hair before trailing teasingly down her back, grabbing her hips and pulling gently until she was flat on her back. The tower of pillows that had been behind her tipped and he pushed it off the bed. So long as they were together he had no use for pillows. They would only get in the way.

She sighed in pleasure as his hands caressed her lovingly; worshipping the body he missed so dearly, moaning softly as he kissed a scorching trail from her lips, down her throat, and across her chest, paying equal attention to both perfectly shaped breasts. As he moved lower Kagome wrapped her hands in his hair, pulling him up until his eyes looked into hers in question. "I can't wait," she answered his unspoken inquiry. "We'll have all the time in the world for that, but right now I need you. I need to feel you inside me. Three years is far too long to feel so empty."

He nodded his understanding, his fingers traveling across her abdomen before sliding across slick folds, finding her more than ready for him. He covered her body with his and kissed her with every bit of passion he'd been saving just for her, slowing pushing his way between her tight walls. He had to tear his lips from hers to moan at the incredible sensation of her hot passage wrapped around him once more. He stared into her eyes as he withdrew before thrusting back inside.

His pace was slow, taking his time while allowing her body to remember his, and when she began to lift her hips to meet his he moved faster, one clawed hand at her hip while the other gently held the back of her neck so he could pull her lips up to his and kiss her senseless. Her arms wrapped around his neck and as his hips met hers with more force her nails dug into his back, making him purr with pleasure.

Sesshoumaru called up his youki, winding it around her until she was wrapped in a soft green light, and smiled as her miko energy rose up, not fighting against his power, instead intertwining with it and surrounding them both. He watched as magenta lined her eyelids and a royal blue crescent moon appeared on her forehead, marking her for all to see as his mate.

He felt as she grew closer to orgasm, her inner walls twitching around his length, and he increased his speed one last time, eager to push her over the edge, knowing she would take him with her. Her back arched as she climaxed and Sesshoumaru held back for as long as he could, pumping hard and fast, drawing out her pleasure and his own until he joined her in ecstasy. He carefully rested his head on her chest between her breasts, listening as her heartbeat slowed from its frantic pace back to normal, his eyelids drooping as the rhythmic sound began to lull him to sleep.

Kagome was startled when he suddenly picked up his head and she groaned in disappointment as he slid slowly from her body, leaving her empty once again. She watched his ass with interest as he walked across the room completely nude, but was confused as he opened the door and left her alone without a word. Her head dropped back to the bed with a sigh and she stared at the ceiling, wondering what he was up to and when he'd return so she could once again admire her mate's sculpted form.

Finally she heard his approaching footsteps and when he entered the room she furrowed her brows in an impressive imitation of Sesshoumaru, causing him to smirk at her. He sat beside her and reached around her, clasping the necklace he'd been carrying around her pale throat. She picked up the pendant to look at it and gasped at its beauty.

"I had this made when I first found that I desired you as my mate," he explained. He pointed to the ivory crescent moon that curved around a large sapphire star. "This was made with one of my fangs and the chain is unbreakable, made with my hair."

Kagome ran her fingers over the smooth surface in wonder. "It's amazing!" She was surprised by how light it felt considering the size of the stone, but could sense that there was more to it than just a pretty necklace.

"It is spelled. So long as you wear it you will not age so that you can be with this Sesshoumaru for all of eternity." Tears welled up in her eyes and she threw herself into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. He held her close and whispered in her ear. "You were more right than you knew. We really do have all the time in the world, and I can't think of anyone I would rather spend it with."

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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