Disclaimer: You know the schpiel. Char not mine, plot mine.

Spoilers: Roughly tankouban 18. I can't figure out when the Inuyasha/Kikyou scene is datewise, so I'm arbitrarily setting it at the end of the school year, which will allow Kagome to stay in the past for several months. If I'm wrong, then ... I'm not going to change it.

Author's warning: What I did on my Xmas vacation: I wrote this fic. I was far from reference material (ie the manga) and Internet access, so the characters are pretty OOC and it probably has a few glaring errors. Writing it kept me sane while in the clutches of family, and that was the main point, but now that it's done I thought I would share.

Author's notes: There's a slightly longer version of this on my personal site, including the sex cut out in part 4. If you're allowed to read slightly kinky smut and are interested, head over, the site URL is in my profile.

Pushing Me Away

I've lied
To you
The same way that I always do
This is
The last smile
That I'll fake for the sake of being with you

Everything falls apart Even the people who never frown
Eventually break down

The sacrifice of hiding in a lie

Everything has to end
You'll soon find we're out of time left
To watch it all unwind

The sacrifice of never knowing

Why I never walked away
Why I played myself this way
Now I see your testing me pushes me away

I've tried
Like you
To do everything you wanted to
This is
The last time
I'll take the blame for the sake of being with you


It was night again, and Kagome was staring at the sky. She thought idly that it was amazing how clear it was in this time, how many stars she could see. There was the Great Bear, and over there the Little Bear, which meant that that star there was the North Star

A part of her mind was well aware of what she was doing, and although she tried to ignore it, she knew she was going to have to deal with it eventually.

Two weeks ago, Inuyasha had chosen. And the person he had wasn't her.

Kagome remembered vividly the scene in the clearing, Inuyasha holding Kikyou in his arms, telling her that he would protect her, that his life was hers.

At the time, she had gone back to her world, and decided that she would continue to follow Inuyasha. That being with him would be enough. But these last two weeks had taught her otherwise.

It hurt, she thought. It hurt to know that the person she loved had chosen the woman who had tried to kill her. No matter that she understood his motives, understood that Inuyasha still loved Kikyou, that he felt guilty that she had chosen to die and follow him, it didn't help. Understanding what causes you pain doesn't make the pain go away. Only removing the source of the pain does that.

For a while she pondered her options, but there didn't seem to be many.

She could leave, go back to her own time, and never return, she supposed. But that wasn't really an option. No matter her feelings for Inuyasha, there was the Shikon. She was partly responsible for it's current shattered state, and it was her obligation to try to make things right. She felt duty bound to stay in the Sengoku-jidai until the Skikon was restored and Naraku stopped. Besides, even leaving Inuyasha out of the equation, she had friends here that she would miss if she simply left.

But she couldn't do it anymore. But these last two weeks had been harder than she could have imagined, and she couldn't imagine facing a future full of more just like them. Couldn't bear to laugh and smile and pretend that everything was all right. Couldn't pretend that it didn't hurt, that it wasn't killing her to have to stay by his side, pretending to be just a friend. Couldn't just be his shard detector, quiet and invisible.

So what was left?

Only one option. If she loved Inuyasha, and he, well she couldn't say that he didn't love her, because she knew he did. But he hadn't *chosen* her, so he didn't love her enough. And if that was true, then the only way for the hurting to stop was for her to stop loving Inuyasha. She had tried that before, and failed. She had tried staying in her time, had tried to date Hoji, but nothing had managed to make her forget Inuyasha. But after the last two weeks, she knew she no longer had a choice. Either she stopped loving Inuyasha, or she was going to collapse. This time, she decided, she would simply have to do better.