Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, Rumiko Takahashi does.
Chapter 1: The Promise
The fresh fallen snow was no longer white. The innocence and purity it once held was now lost, dyed a dark crimson by his blood, his life. For miles around him, all he could see was a menacing sea of red, as the last of his strength seeped further and further away from his body.
How many times had the ground been soaked with his blood, had tasted the essence of a creature that was neither human nor youkai, but an unwanted mixture of the two?
And how many times had the wish to be stronger and more powerful entered his thoughts? Wasn't that the reason why he had sought the jewel in the first place, to get rid of his weakness?
This was worse than the nights of the new moon, for this time the breaking rays of dawn did not hold the promise of renewal and healing. The youkai blood that had miraculously fixed his battle-damaged body many times before in the past was no use to him now. This time, he had lost too much, and the wounds that were inflicted on him were far too grave.
He turned his head slightly to focus his eyes on the mangled body of Naraku, and the army of youkai that was led against them. Naraku had managed to complete the jewel by taking their shards, along with the wimpy wolf's. It was a fierce battle. They all fought bravely, gave it their all. His obligation to Kikyou had been fulfilled. She was finally at peace, one with the earth.
'And I - we were able to destroy that bastard,' he thought with a small bit of satisfaction and triumph, clenching the finally whole Shikon no Tama as tightly as he could in his hand. 'And she was saved…I was able to protect her, keep her from harm…'
A warm teardrop fell onto his face, immediately followed by another. He flinched and gazed up into Kagome's brown eyes, full of sadness and despair. "Ka…gome." He squeezed his eyes, grimacing at the pain shooting throughout his body; a low moan escaped his chapped lips.
'It wasn't supposed to end like this…'
'Then how was it supposed to end?' He remembered when Okaasan used to read him bedtime stories… fairytales about brave heroes saving their damsels in distress, and good triumphing over evil. Then after the villain of the story was defeated and the quest was over, they would ride off into the sunset together to live happily ever after.
He snorted. 'Screw the ever afters. When had things ever fucking turned out the way I wanted them to?' The warrior was not supposed to die and leave behind the woman he loved. Hand trembling with fatigue, he weakly reached up to wipe another glistening tear from her beautiful face. He frowned mentally at himself for having stained her ivory skin with his blood.
She leaned into his palm, and clasped his hand tightly against her cheek, now damp with their joint blood and tears. Closing her eyes, she rubbed her cheek against his hand, before turning her head to press her lips tenderly against the heel of his palm.
His heart leapt as she reopened her eyes, and gazed deeply into his. The old saying was really true; your eyes truly were the windows to your soul. It was as though time had stopped, there was no need for words for her eyes spoke volumes, telling him how deeply she felt about him. But then he'd always known of her feelings for him. He didn't know why she loved him, when he'd done everything possible to push her away. She had stayed with him even though he had foolishly picked Kikyo over her.
A hard lump squeezed at his throat. He wanted more than anything to be able to get up and take Kagome in his arms, to comfort her and hold her… to kiss her. 'Damn…it's not fair…fate has given me a second chance for happiness, love…has given me Kagome. I never even got to tell her or show her how much she means to me.'
All those weeks, months of hiding his feelings, waiting for the right time, the right moment. He never thought it would come down to this. His whole life had been nothing but one sick joke, almost like an experiment gone wrong. How could fate be this cruel? Just when he had found the one person in the world who accepted and loved him for who he was, not who he could be.
The mountain rumbled loudly from a distant, threatening to tear the two lovers apart. The ground began to vibrate with a greater intensity. It was coming, to erase the impurities, to cover up what had been tainted. He could faintly hear Miroku crying out for Kagome to run away.
As much as he hated to see her go, she couldn't stay here with him. She must live. It was all he ever wanted, all he ever cared about. "Go… get out of here… before it's too late…" each breath was becoming more and more labored, and his heart was barely pumping what was left of the blood through his body.
"Shh… baka, save your strength. I'm not leaving you…we're getting out of here together," she shook her head violently in denial, eyes filled with determination as she caressed his cheek. More tears spilled from her eyes.
Now his whole body was numb, the physical pain was gone. Only his heart ached…from having to disappoint her once again, and for making her cry. 'What do you say to the girl you love when you're about to leave her?' He was never good with expressing emotions. They always came out harshly. A million words coated with intense feelings raced through his mind, but all he could manage to say was…
"D-don't cry." That seemed to make the tears flowed faster, and her shoulders to shake harder. Each sob, and each drop was adding to the fractures in his heart. He hated this, and yet that had not stopped him from hurting her in the past. All those times when he had ran off to see Kikyo or when he was being an idiot and had nearly gotten himself killed. No matter how much pain he had caused her, she continued to care, to cry for him.
He stared up at the cloudy gray sky, wondering when dawn would come to lift away the darkness. 'I wish… oh gods I wish… Kagome and I will meet again… another chance at happiness, to live happily ever after.' The jewel in his hand pulsated, shooting a shockwave through his body, and gave off a brilliant light that surrounded both of them. He shivered, his teeth clattering, oblivious to the warmth the Shikon no Tama had just radiated. "Cold…so cold."
He wondered where he would be allowed to stay at after this? Heaven or Hell? She had changed him, made him a better man, saving him from himself in everyway possible. But still, he had done terrible things in the past. Would they allow someone like him, a hanyou, inside heaven's gate?
He took his last breath, trying to inhale her scent at the same time…her sweet comforting smell. "Promise… I'll… find a way back to you, I lo-" his eyes fluttering shut.
He never got to finish; his strength was gone. Images of Kagome flashed quickly through his mind: their first meeting; him in her lap after he was attack by the spider youkai; Kagome asking to stay with him despite knowing that he had picked her rival over her; her beautiful smile that made his heart leapt each and every time…
The jewel fell down with a dull thud from his lifeless hand. Darkness came just as the sun was finally making its way above the horizon.
~ Year 3002 ~
The chunk of ice finally gave away, stale air intertwined quickly with fresh air from outside. Cautiously, they stepped inside; well aware of the precarious state they were in. Ice crystal stalactites were hung like glimmering blades from the ceiling. They were risking the shortage of air, the possibility of a sudden collapse of the frozen foundation from below or above.
Over a thousand years had past since the formation of these ice caves that were structured deep beneath the surface. And five centuries had come and gone since the earth had begun to orbit further and further away from the sun. Almost half of the world was now frozen, with most of the population concentrated near the equator.
They were all here to uncover the mystery, and perhaps to change to fate of the world.
Legend had it that an incredible battle had taken place here. A war between good and evil. A war between love and hate. Since then, during the coldest day of winter, a lone white flower would grow from above the caves in the evening. It would then die right before dawn, with all its petals painted a dark shade of red. They called it the Kanashimi, for behind the legend was a tragic tale about two star-crossed lovers.
How could a flower grow when everything around it was dead? Plants and animals that could survive on its own outside of laboratory were a rarity. The world had become depended on artificial sunlight and agricultural cloning.
A murmur of excitement grew as more ice came apart. Eyes widened, tools dropped dully to the ground from shaky hands.
This was a tomb.
A/N: Thank you for reading my story, I just want to let you know that I am definitely going to continue with this. I just need to finish up BDL or OLA first, which should be very soon. Have patience and I'll make chapter 2 to be worth your wait ^_^