A/N: *sighs* I don't know why I'm even doing this……… I have two unfinished fics bothering the heck out of me and other people……… I may as well announce that I'm definitely accepting guest fics for Ten Days because I am out of inspiration. For that matter, if anyone wants to submit ideas for 'If You Want Something Done Right………' go right ahead. I'm listening……… Heeeeelloooooo………
Inu Yasha: They're not listening.
How cruel! I see it now! All you want is the fic! I'm NOTHING to you people!
Anywho, he's just brought me back to my main point. Why I'm doing this. I really want to try to write some weird couplings. I'm starting off with a simple alternate, but I'm thinking of doing a Miroku/Kagome and maybe a Kouga/Kagome. But that's just me, people.
And now, what I know you've all been waiting for………that is if you didn't selfishly and heartlessly pass up my author's note (don't lie, I know you did). The story.
Chapter 1 – Where do I go from here?
A lone girl sat against a rock, sheltered from the faint moonlight that filtered through the clouds by a tree. But this was not just any tree. This was the tree. The tree that always brought her memories.
She remembered having heart to heart talks with her mother there. She remembered praying there. She remembered crying there.
But most of all, the memory that she most wanted to forget at the moment and yet wanted to hold to her forever, was the vision of a boy all in red, still as death, pinned to the tree by an arrow and the vines that crawled up his body. He hadn't been breathing, but hadn't seemed dead. She still remembered……… his warmth. As if he'd been waiting there for her.
None of it mattered now, Kagome thought with a broken sob. It didn't matter to Inu Yasha that that moment was the turning point in her life or that she had definitely been waiting for him, though she hadn't known it at the time. Nothing about her mattered to him, obviously. She still remembered the cold and callous way he'd treated her.
"It………hurts………" Kagome cradled the arm that Naraku's parting shot had injured.
"Idiot." Inu Yasha spat at her coldly.
"W-what?" She'd expected at the least for him to ignore her, perhaps at best to tend to her wound.
"You let him get away. It's your damn fault that he's still alive and some more people are going to die when he tries to come back together."
Tears threatened to fall. He was right.
"You should have just stayed in your own time, bitch. In fact, you should go back there." Those tears did come out then, but she'd be damned if she let him see them. His last impression of her would be of cold, calm strength.
"Maybe I will, then, Inu Yasha," she gritted out, ignoring the moisture on her cheeks. "In fact, if you don't need me, I think I'll leave and let Kikyo kill you. That's what you want, isn't it?" For a moment, she felt the slightest bit of guilt as his face turned anguished. It passed. The expression wasn't for her. It was for what Kikyo had become. The face, too, passed.
"Go home." The sentence had a finality about it, and the fact that he refused to say her name only emphasized it. She felt her lip tremble, and a sob try to force its way out. Kagome bit down on it and fled before he could notice.
But he had noticed, Inu Yasha reflected in misery. He'd noticed because it had been exactly the reaction he'd been trying to get. When he'd returned to camp without Kagome, Miroku and Sango had only nodded sadly, knowing that he'd sent her home. Shippo, of course, was outraged, but Kirara held him back by his ponytail.
Oh, if they'd only known how he'd sent her back. They would kill him.
He knew, though, that it was the only way. The only way to save the woman he loved. She would be safe in her time, and happy.
He sighed tiredly, remembering how he had hesitated in taking the shards she possessed away from her. Inu Yasha hadn't been able to do it, though. He hadn't been able to take away his only hope.
If she would somehow come back after everything was over……… or after Naraku was defeated, he would be able to go to her and take back the shards………and apologize………
He knew the truth. He knew that it was too late.
But as long as he had that slim hope, he could keep going.
Kagome hadn't returned home. Instead, she was looking down into the darkness of that cursed well. That well that had started everything. The miko in schoolgirl's clothing lifted one leg and hoisted herself up to the top of the well.
But then, her mind blanked.
What am I doing?
She couldn't do this. She couldn't be a coward and run away, just because Inu Yasha had been cold to her. Yes, it hurt, but she just couldn't bring herself to go running home in tears.
That had been done before.
No, it was her fault that this whole thing had gotten started. And she'd be damned if she let Naraku get away with all of the things he'd caused. Just the thought made her blood boil.
Yes, that's right. I need to get angry. If I'm angry enough, maybe I can forget………
That decided, she unhooked her leg from the well's rim and sat down on the ground before it. For better or for worse, she couldn't let herself go back. No, she couldn't even think of it, couldn't have the choice. And her family………her family was in danger if Naraku ever found out about her selfish secret, the place that could take her – or anyone with a Shikon shard – to the future. She had to………
The thought choked her, but Kagome was nothing if not strong. She had always been strong. She couldn't stop now, now that she had no one to rely on.
One hand came shakily out to touch the well's edge once more. But this time, instead of pulling herself up, Kagome whispered something beneath her breath in a sad, broken voice, and clenched it tightly. As her hand glowed, the tears she had thought beaten came out in a rush once more.
The glow strengthened a little momentarily, but then faded. The well was sealed.
No, not sealed.
The power within it was gone forever……… or until the once more whole and unbroken Shikon no Tama touched it with its power again.
She knew now, without a doubt, that the Shikon no Tama would never be whole again. Only its past form, which the past her possessed, was whole.
It was odd, Sesshoumaru mused to himself as he watched Rin run in the rain happily. It was very odd how he had suddenly become so attached to such a weak thing without noticing it. Why did she have such an effect on him?
I will never understand it, he murmured in his mind. Therefore, it bears no thinking, or I shall drive myself mad.
That said (or thought), the demon lord gestured to his loyal retainer.
"Take care of Rin, Jaken. I have an errand." Of course, that errand was to track down and destroy the being that called itself Naraku. He had no idea when it would be accomplished, but this odd feeling called for it unceasingly. Just the thought of Rin being dead once more……… an involuntary growl escaped his throat as he walked, and the still blank-faced Sesshoumaru stopped.
Since when have I lost control so easily………at least it is only in her case.
He continued walking without stopping again.
But when the night had ended, Sesshoumaru could only come up with one conclusion: Naraku's scent was nowhere to be found, and he was therefore nowhere near him.
But someone else was.