AN: I have been so uninspired as of late, and so when I had this idea I just thought, "Screw it, I have to write it." I probably won't get too many reviews, and maybe its better that way. That way, I won't have to continue…Shadows's unpopularity has …well, not depressed me, just mildly shocked me. But hey, I am gunna continue because that fic is my prize and joy, so who cares if its unpopular? And Dango…well, dango *heh*….i am so uninspired, but I am going to try to start the LONG overdue chapter four. Anyways, enjoy this short, if not "weird" (as obi put it) little one-shot. Its not my best work, and it's simple, confusing, and full of spelling errors…but oh well…enjoy a fic of what would come!
Discovering Drop by Drop
"I told you, Kagome," Kaede whispered sadly, her old and faded eyes glimmering with misty tears, "That he would never work…"
A stray leaf fell from the maple tree a few meters away. The weather was bordering on autumn, and the tips of the green tree were fringed with gold.
Smiling sadly, Kagome looked up, her eyes glimmering, her hands gripped tightly around the rice paper, "It was not his fault."
Kaede, glancing down at the bamboo rake in her hands, cast a troubled expression and replied in turn, "No, it was not." Suddenly, as though remembering the use for the tool, she moved it meaninglessly about the gravel courtyard.
Watching her duly, Kagome heaved a sigh, clasped her hands to her head, and tugged angrily down at her hair causing sharp pains.
"Why," she screamed angrily to the whispering trees surrounding her, "Why did you have to go and die, you idiot!?"
High above the two people, above the tops of the tress swaying in the light breezes of late summer, the pale silhouette of the moon quietly hid behind the water colored blue sky.
A slim figure of a pretty girl hurriedly walked down the streets of Nirasaki, her eyes glancing about for a familiar figure, a friend she had met once long ago, anyone. There was no one. Kagome knew this. Entering into the train depot near the bakery, Kagome quietly walked up to the platform where the train to Koufu arrived a few moments later. In her gloved hands, she held a bouquet of white chrysanthemums. The flower for the dead.
Those who watched her board the train immediately stopped all conversations and gazed at her sadly across the brightly colored benches.
"But, she is so young…" whispered an old and withered woman, fingering her wedding ring in apprehension.
"What could have been the cause?" her friend replied in turn, suddenly finding their gossip about Nakashima-san's pickling ingredients very dull indeed.
The girl who sat there, her head bent down in silent agony, was what all young and beautiful women dreaded. Adjusting her black-laced hat ever so slightly she stared blearily eyed down at her black skirt, and then her black stalking, and then…last but not least, the polished and newly bought black shoes.
Such shoes, Kagome thought duly, should not have been worn on such an occasion. Such shoes were meant for merriment, and happiness….
"You idiot," she whispered to no one particular.
"Happy birthday, Kagome-nechan!" Souta cheered merrily as he handed a present to Kagome across the table.
"But, it's breakfast! Shouldn't it wait until later? When oka-san is home?" Kagome teased, picking at a half-eaten bowl of rice. It was a rare experience now a day that she actually ate the whole meal.
"Kagome…" Souta began sadly, adjusting his high school uniform ever so slightly, "Listen…I want to give this to you before…well, before things change."
"Change?" Kagome questioned quietly, staring at his now blushed face.
"Yes." Was all he replied, avoiding her eyes, a guilty flush falling across his still boyish face. He was only a freshman, after all.
Grinning in a sad way she had become accustomed to, Kagome agreed and slowly opened the small jewelry box.
"A chain?" she questioned wryly, flashing him a confused if not amused look.
"So," he began, "You will always have Inuyasha by your heart, even if no one else can see.
Bringing his arm from underneath the table, he opened his hand to reveal the simple gold band that Kagome had thrown down the well a few months ago.
"I—" Kagome began, blinking back tears of anger, frustration, and painful memories, "Thank you."
It was all she could say.
"Kagome," her mother began, "There is something I want to speak to you about."
Wiping the sweat off her forehead from the brilliancy of the summer's d ay, she walked across the grassy lawn and sat down on the porch. She had been expecting this conversation since the spring, since Souta foreshadowed it. And now, Kagome realized, the day of the summer solstice, the time had come.
"Of course, oka-chan." Kagome replied, covering her hand with her face, and squinting slightly.
"Inuyasha is dead." Her mother began, her own directness startlingly the mild-tempered woman.
"Yes, I know, oka-chan," Kagome replied smoothly, having accepted the fact, no matter how much pain it brought her.
"Remember when you were a teenager?" Mrs. Higurashi began after a moment, as though trying to find the best way to begin the heart of the matter.
"Yes, of course. But what in particular?" Kagome teased playfully.
"When you said you wanted to give 'love a try'?" Her mother continued hesitantly.
"Yes, that was when I was dating Inuyasha." She replied smoothly, adjusting her shoulders to sit properly. A dark hush began to surround her heart. The road the conversation was taking was bringing her into uncharted territory.
"And you tired it." She continued, pressing more urgently, afraid she was loose her now, "But look where it left you. Look where love left me. I believe it is a curse that our love ends so tragically."
A bird from somewhere in the shrines lot tinkled merrily like a wind chime.
"It is for this reason,"
A car roared by on the road.
"That I have decided."
The bird continued merrily on.
"To arrange a marriage for you."
Shouts across the road of children playing. A life Kagome suddenly longed for.
"Why?" was all she could muster, forcing herself not to cry.
You idiot, Inuyasha. If you had only lived for my sake. For our sake. For our happiness we worked so hard to achieve!
"Because…" Mrs. Higurashi sighed, running her hand through her short haircut, "After your grandfather died the shrine has fallen on hard times…"
"But, that was over three years ago!" Kagome shouted, standing up in rage, "Are you telling me that for three years you have allowed Souta and I to believe that life has continued on in the same way?"
"You must understand, Kagome." She whispered gently, "Inuyasha, the man you loved, could have saved us. He loved you, yes—this we all know. But,…Inuyasha also came from a rich and prestigious family…and once you two had been married I believed the shrine could be saved."
"So," Kagome whispered, her face flushed and angry, "You agreed to the marriage because he was financially stable."
"No!" Mrs. Higurashi cried earnestly, "I fell in love with that boy. I wished no other to be my son-in-law…but you must understand, Kagome. You are still young. You have not yet realized the reality of the world."
"There is your mistake mother," Kagome spat angrily, "I grew up the day I received that letter. If what you wanted was a jaded and cynical daughter, I am sure that it is only a matter of time before you get your wish."
Running down the steps of the shrine and down the street, Kagome thought to herself,
I grew up that day for you, Inuyasha….but I still desire the innocence of what we once had.
Scenery blurred and merged about her, but the world was unnoticed, despite the fact how cruel reality seemed at this moment.
"He grew up in Nirasaki as well?" Kagome questioned, the all too familiar scenery wiping by on train from Kofu.
"Yes," Mrs. Higurashi replied, adjusting her hat with the pins.
"How strange…" Kagome whispered to herself, smiling gently as her white gloved hand reached out and felt the cool glass of the train. It was now autumn. In a week, it would be a year since his death.
The train came to a stop, and the two quickly hailed a taxi. Kagome was surprised when she recognized the address of the street.
As the taxi pulled away from the curb, Mrs. Higurashi added, "He has grown up in Tokyo and is studying at the Univeristy in Kyoto."
"Eh?" the young girl gasped, "But I am going to a Kyoto University…!"
"Small world." The mother replied slyly, smiling to herself.
"Too small, I believe."
As the taxi pulled into the empty parking space near the grand house atop a hill overlooking the valley, Kagome shivered silently to herself. The wind from the north seemed more acute in such locations…
As she walked up the steps to the entrance, Kagome closed her eyes for a moment and allowed the past year to filter through her mind. The small and important scenes that made up her existence. There had been that horrible letter on that beautiful day, the death of Inuyasha, her birthday in the spring, her brothers foreshadowing…and then, her mother's decision. Now, was she to look back on this day in months to come?
"Kagome," her mother called, glancing over her shoulder.
Looking up into the dark recesses of the house, she shivered…once she entered the doors her destiny was to be decided.
Facing it bravely, she tried to wear and smile on her face, and walked into the vestibule.
"Ah, Higuarashi-san, welcome."
"We are so sorry for visiting," Kagome whispered, bowing deeply towards silver haired man she presumed was the butler.
"Please, this way." The man instructed.
Hardly glancing at him, Kagome noticed her mothers stunned look. Slipping off her shoes, she followed her mother, now a bit apprehensive, throughout the tatami filled house.
The two had moved through the formalities with some ease, and staring lazily out of the window, Kagome wondered idly when the master of the house and his son would ever appear. It seemed as though the man was avoiding her on purpose.
"Well, its not like I want this either…" she grumbled absently to herself, crossing her arms angrily.
Glancing towards her mother, she found a look of embarrassment etched into her features. Blinking, she glanced across the table and found the silver-haired gentleman looking uncomfortable.
"Did I say something wrong?" Kagome questioned, turning towards the conversation.
"Kagome," her mother began, trembling slightly, "I don't think you understand."
"Understand what?" She blinked, wondering why the silver haired man was now glaring at her angrily. In retaliation, she glared back.
"This man, Okuda-san…this is your future husband."
Gasping in shock and surprised, she nearly fell back. Regaining her composure, she goggled as the strict and severe man, probably twenty-three years old, bowed extremely low across the table, replying smoothly, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Higurashi-san. My name is Okuda Sesshoumaru."
Note: this chapter takes places in flashes of scenes. I might or might not continue it. Just meant to be one of those 'one-shoters'
Also, I am sure those who have read my past fics notice the use of OKUDA-san. From now on in AU, I think I will use that name, unless it gets too confusing. Why not? I like it!