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Author's Chapter Notes:
I do not own InuYasha.

2000 Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV - Sunrise
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work.

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Kagome only had herself to blame. It was hard to swallow such a big and bitter pill, but it was a truth she needed to accept and change. Her heart felt heavy, like she somehow formed some rock that weighed down her chest and made it hard to breath. It even made it hard to get up every day. She had to convince herself with a mantra that everything was going to be okay.

She knew it would eventually. She just stopped needing to be a creature of habit. She kept putting herself into the mode of the other woman. However, in her version, the other woman's love either remained unrequited or it was hard to tell if the other party truly loved her.

With InuYasha, she knew where she was in his life. She was his friend. It hurt to accept it, but she had fallen in love with the half demon with eyes wide open. She had let her feelings linger too long, until her insides felt like they were starting to rot.

It tooks months after her coming back to see that he had been hung up on Kikyo. She wore a fake smile and the same garbs that Kikyo once wore. She got angry and fed up with it that she blew up on InuYasha. Sure, they had kissed, but just because he and Kikyo were together in a different life didn't mean she was going to be her replacement.

InuYasha had not been happy with Kagome's choice, but accepted it and went about his life. Sure they saw each other in the village, and sure, they did talk every so often. Their relationship was still a little rocky and tense even one year after Kagome telling InuYasha that she couldn't play second anymore.

And now, somehow Kagome was playing second to another female. This time to a demoness, the wind sorceress Kagura. Kagome was not angry with Kagura. She was angry with Sesshoumaru.

Sesshoumaru had started talking with Kagome only a couple months after her breaking things off with InuYasha. To Kagome, it was awkward because the stoic demon lord was normally tight lipped. He also seemed to approach her when she was alone and away from the village. Of course, it was probably easier on him since he was a private individual.

With some time, Sesshoumaru opened up to her and started displaying behavior that Kagome recognized as courting rituals. She was flattered because he could be charming in his own way.

The problem was that it seemed every time they were together, some wind would blow by and the demon lord would stop whatever was going on and look off in the direct of the blowing wind. At one point Kagome asked about it, and Sesshoumaru had divulged that every time the wind blew by him that he thought of Kagura.

At first, Kagome thought that it was sweet to hear, but when he stopped a really intense makeout session, she began to worry.

Kagome asked herself if she was a replacement for Kagura. She wasn't the wind witch's reincarnation and the only attribute they shared was their dark hair. All the insecurities she had for the last few years came back with a vengeance and she used it to push Sesshoumaru away.

She told Sesshoumaru that she couldn't play second to the memory of Kagura and needed his full attention. In fact, Kagome was a sobbing mess when she was finished and all Sesshoumaru did was leave as quietly as he had appeared. If he ever came back, she would be really surprised.

In all the sobbing, Kagome realized, she needed to change her attitude. She needed to build herself up so she would never feel second and love herself better. it wasn't fair to anyone. If Sesshoumaru came back, she would love him. If InuYasha ever talked with her again without being timid, she would be his friend.

Until then, she had work to do on herself.
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