Friends Forever

Edited and revised on July 3rd, 2006.

Originally Posted on May 19th, 2003.

Hi everyone, I got the inspiration for this fic from Vitamin C's graduation song, Friends Forever. This is a Kagome/Hojo/Yuka/Ayumi/Eri friendship fic. Yes, the timeline is screwed up on purpose.

oXo…

Kagome looked around the gymnasium at the class of 2003. Today, she was graduating with honors. InuYasha had allowed her six months in her world so that she could graduate as such. He knew what it had meant to her to be there with the people she'd grown up with, getting to know them again, as she'd started to fall away from the group while in the feudal era.

She threw a look at Eri, Ayumi, Yuka, and Hojo, who were all sitting close by. Her friends. She'd never love Hojo like she loved InuYasha, but…they were still good friends. Great friends, even. And she'd made her decision.

She would stay in feudal Japan. It hadn't been a moment of insanity, or boredom that had helped her to make that decision… but rather, many nights of tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling and wondering… She'd had the time to get to learn about the past. About mannerisms, clothing, and the people, there. She didn't feel that it was right for InuYasha to have to change into a human, living in a completely strange (and sometimes scary) world… never sure of what was going on; constantly asking questions and getting confused at the answers.

She wouldn't ever see her friends again. The thought wasn't just sad- it was downright depressing. Only someone who was going through such a trial would understand the turmoil that went through Kagome's heart during the graduating ceremony. The word of the Valedictorian, telling them about their futures, and that life was a great thing, there for the taking.

She'd called Yuka the night before. She was so nervous. She didn't want to leave her high school life behind and venture out into the unknown. Yuka was going to college to be a nurse. Kagome's heart twisted at the thought. They'd talked all night about their plans for the future. Kagome would never see her friend become what she had dreamed of for so long.

And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives,

Where we're gonna be when we turn 25,

I keep thinking times will never change,

Keep on thinking things would always be the same…

It wasn't fair that she would be leaving her friends. Today would be the last day she'd ever see them. The very last… She held up hopes, of course, that… once the well was sealed from the other side, the spell would break. But… somehow, in her heart, she doubted that it would ever happen.

But when we leave this year we won't be coming back,

No more hanging out cause we're on a different track,

And if you got something that you need to say,

You better say it right now cause you don't have another day.

Her gaze centered on Eri. She had told Kagome that she was going to college to become a veterinarian. She wanted to help the animals of the world. Kagome would never get to see Eri reach her dream. She wanted to halt time and stay where she was. Here, in the modern era… with the people she'd got to know again for the last half-a-year.

Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down,

These memories are playing like a film without sound,

And I keep thinking of that night in June,

I didn't know much of love,

But it came too soon…

A part of her wanted to stay 17 for the rest of her life. She never wanted to leave her friends forever. She wanted to have them forever. But they would forever be gone. But there were her other friends. She hadn't known them as long as she'd known her modern-day ones, but… somehow, she knew them better.

And there was me and you,

And when we got real blue,

Stay at home talking on the telephone with me,

We'd get so excited and we'd get so scared,

Laughing at ourselves thinking life's not fair…

And this is how it feels…

When she glanced at Ayumi she saw tears shimmering in the girl's dark eyes. Ayumi was moving to America to attend classes to become an English teacher. America was far away… Further than any of the others' would be. And somehow, despite not being able to see any of them again, knowing that Ayumi wouldn't even be in Japan at all… was worse.

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

And as our lives change,

Come whatever,

We will still be,

Friends forever…

She would never forget them, she knew. Even after she left through the well and allowed the magic of the Shikon jewel to seal it shut forever, she would never forget what they had meant to her over the years of her life. She remembered playing games, going to movies… just talking…

Hojo's normally happy smile was drawn into a straight line. His eyes were downcast, and he looked slightly depressed. He was going to Kyoto to study engineering. Their group of five was being separated into little pieces; scattered across space and time. She knew that it shouldn't be a sad time- they should all be celebrating! But…

So if we get the big jobs,

And we make the big money,

When we look back now,

Will our jokes still be funny?

Will we still remember everything we learned in school?

Still be trying to break every single rule?

What would happen to them? They'd never see each other again. Kagome had long ago stopped paying attention to the valediction speech. Her eyes roamed across the room, stopping to rest on each of her fellow classmates. What would happen to all of them?

Will little brainy Bobby be a stockbroker man?

Can we ever find a job that won't interfere with a tan?

I keep- keep thinking that it's not goodbye,

Keep on thinking it's a time to fly…

And this is how it feels…

It wasn't goodbye. She looked at each of her classmates, immediately noting their far-off look. Maybe they were all thinking about their futures and how they would survive without each other.

The sad thing was…they had no idea. They thought that they would all meet up again during breaks and after college- or during class reunions. There would be class reunions, but the only one who wouldn't be able to attend was Kagome. She'd never see her friends again. But who knew what the future held? She had never considered herself a pessimist, but… people could die… they could lose their jobs, houses, and family. With everything in her, she wanted to believe that they would all be together again, beneath that sign saying, "Welcome back, class of 2003!". How many of them would return to this place?

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

And as our lives change,

Come whatever,

We will still be,

Friends Forever…

Sure, she had her friends in the Feudal era, but before she'd even been through the well- she'd had her friends from her own age and time. Eri and Yuka had become her friends in the first grade, and soon after Ayumi had moved in and joined the group. And just recently- Hojo had made his way into their humble group. They'd done so many things together, and they'd been through so much…

She prayed that a glitch would occur in the well after the jewel was used. She prayed, hoped, and dreamed that someday- she could come back and visit her old friends. Her eyes gleamed with tears as she stood in the line to get her diploma.

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?

Can we survive it out there?

Can we make it somehow?

Eri received her diploma first, hugging the teacher that she'd picked to present it to her (1). She cried openly, and the band stopped their loud playing to play a soft piece. It didn't do anything to cover up the sobbing students as they hugged their favorite teachers goodbye for the final time.

That's when Kagome realized…they were adults now. Not children. They could never go back and redo what had occurred; they could never change their choices. They were grown up- and it had seemed to take forever to get there, but now that she was there- she wanted time to slow down again. She wanted to say, one more time, "Is it over, yet?"

I guess I thought that this would never end,

And suddenly it's like we're women and men.

Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round?

Will these memories fade when I leave this town?

I keep, keep thinking that it's not goodbye,

Keep on thinking it's a time to fly…

Ayumi firmly grasped the math teacher and sobbed openly on her favorite teacher's shoulder. Ayumi was afraid of going to America alone- without a friend in the world. She wouldn't know anyone there…she'd be so alone.

Her teacher hugged her back, tightly, the glasses slipping slightly off the older woman's nose. Tears falling to the ground without fail, the older woman patted Ayumi on the back and gave her a soft shove to her future.

Kagome furiously scrubbed at her eyes with her hands. She wished her friend the best of luck in their lives. They would never even know where she had gone. For all they would know- she could have died somewhere…alone and afraid… Would they try to find her, again? Would they ask her family?

Hojo reached up to give the computer instructor a hug, shutting his eyes hard to try and keep the tears from slipping past. He didn't succeed, and the older man handed Hojo his diploma and whispered a 'good luck', a wide, proud smile on his face.

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

Yuka, who was ahead of Kagome, ran to her science teacher, the plump white-haired man grasping her in a huge hug. It was a day to cry, it seemed. Everyone wept openly in front of the audience-many members of which had tears in their own eyes. The old man smiled and handed Yuka her well deserved certificate that guaranteed her entrance into the college that she'd chosen. She wiped her eyes and plastered a timid smile on her face, the smile widening when she looked down at her diploma. It was the ticket to her future.

And as our lives change,

Come whatever,

We will still be,

Friends Forever…

Kagome stepped forward and didn't bother trying to stop the tears that were now flowing down her face. She reached out for the writing teacher, enveloping the middle-aged woman in an embrace. It had always been her dream to write. Or to teach writing, but it would never be. She'd be going back to InuYasha. Back to her second home that she'd come to love so much…with the other set of people she had started to think of as family.

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

oXo…

Kagome set down her drink and walked over to her four friends. She had to leave- it was time…and she wanted to tell them goodbye…for good.

"H-Hojo, Ayumi, Yuka, and Eri…I-I'm leaving now…" She told them, eyes filling again.

"Oh Kagome!" Eri cried, hugging her friend tightly. "Do you have to go?"

"Yeah…" she sighed, a tear spilling out onto the ground.

"We'll see you again…" Ayumi said firmly. "Right?"

"Hopefully…" Kagome smiled slightly, corners of her mouth curving up slightly. She wanted so much for that little wish to become reality. She reached over and hugged Ayumi. "Good luck in America Ayumi-chan………I hope you get the job you've always dreamed of."

"I will…just don't…don't forget about me…" Ayumi sobbed. "I'll miss all of you so much…"

Yuka hugged the two girls tightly. "You'll email us, right?" she asked them. "If you don't email me…I'll never forgive you…"

"We'll try…" Ayumi said slowly. "No…we will…we'll always be friends…no matter what."

"Right," Kagome agreed. "We will always be friends forever."

And as our lives change,

Come whatever,

We will still be,

Friends forever…

"How about a group hug!" Eri tearfully asked. Normally, it would have sounded

stupid, but under the pretense that they weren't going to be see each other again for a very long time, it sounded perfect. "You too Hojo!" Eri ordered. "Don't even think that you're going to get away with not telling Kagome goodbye."

Hojo reached into their hug sadly. He had a feeling that they would lose touch eventually. He'd lose contact with all of his new-found friends. With Kagome, Eri, Ayumi, and Yuka. He had to enjoy it while he still could. He had to leave on the 11:00 flight to Kyoto anyway. He might as well enjoy the last moments he would ever have with his friends.

"I'll miss you all…" Kagome said, looking around at Eri, Ayumi, Yuka, and Hojo. "I really will…"

"But we'll keep in touch through the mail, email, and the telephone," Ayumi said.

"Maybe…" Hojo muttered slowly. "If fate has it that way, then we will…"

"Soon enough we'll be too busy with our lives to remember our friends…and when we do remember…it'll be too late. We'll have lost touch." Eri sighed, looking at each of them for a long moment.

"But we'll do our best…right?"

"We will…" Kagome agreed, putting her hand out into the circle of the five congregated friends.

"Yes." Hojo put his hand on top of Kagome's .

Kagome looked around at all of the other various groups of friends at Ayumi's graduation party. Normally, the party wasn't the same day as graduation, but Ayumi had to catch the 9:00 flight to America. She had to get a head-start on learning life over there, before classes had to start.

All of the various groups of friends were making pacts of different kinds, trying to seal their friendships for eternity.

"Of course we will…" Ayumi smiled tearfully, placing her hand on Hojo's.

"We'll see each other in ten years at the ten-year class reunion…" Yuka said, putting her hand on Ayumi's.

"And Kagome'll have three kids and she'll marry her weird boyfriend, Hojo will be a millionaire… Ayumi will have a dashing American husband… Yuka will be a mother of two with a sweet young husband, and I'll…I'll…" Eri started, breaking down.

The others pulled themselves into a huge hug, crushing them against themselves… surrounding all of them in the love only friends can have.

"You'll be married and have four kids Eri…" Kagome smiled.

"Yeah…"

"I have to go…" Kagome smiled sadly. "Don't worry…I'll write all of you. I promise it."

"Same here…" Hojo said slowly.

"I'll take my laptop with me everywhere," Ayumi swore.

"I'll see you!" Kagome called over her shoulder, jumping into her mother's car that she'd borrowed for the evening. "Goodbye everyone!"

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

oXo…

Kagome opened her laptop and prayed that it would work in the Feudal era. Even if it didn't, she'd do something. She had too…….she knew it. She'd told her family goodbye, even giving Souta a big hug, and she was nearly ready to go.

When she checked her inbox, she found an email from all of her friends. Hojo was sending his from his flight, and so was Ayumi. Yuka and Eri were on different buses headed to campus' to try to find jobs over the break.

Hojo's subject line read, "Friends Forever", and as her eyes scanned the pages, a sad smile made its way onto her face.

-

"We'll always be friends…remember that. Don't forget what we have worked so hard to achieve. We've had our fights, our scrabbles, but we've made it though…still together…and that's all that matters.

Kagome, just so you know…we've known about the Feudal era for a long time. Almost a year now. We saw your boyfriend… (the weird one you're going to marry someday), and your grandfather had to explain. Don't worry, we won't say anything to anyone about it. But we sure will miss you. I hope that somehow you can get the well working again, so that you can come visit us. You promised you'd come to our 10-year reunion, remember?

Eri, treat your animals that you take care of with the friendly love you've given all of us. I'll miss you a lot, and don't forget to keep in touch. I wish you the best of luck at vet tech school. If you ever lose my email, be sure to call my mom…she'll tell you for me. Goodbye, but I'll see you again.

Ayumi, the best of luck in America, learning the English language. Remember the plan we'd all hatched earlier this year to all go to the same college? We thought that it'd keep together, but it fell into shambles. I'll miss you lots, and don't you dare forget to keep in touch. Don't talk too much on the phone, I don't even want to think about what the bill would be. Goodbye for now, but I'll see you sometime soon.

Yuka, maybe after you graduate from college you'll fall in love with one of your patients. It's sad to think that we might not ever see Kagome again, isn't it? Everything'll work out alright, she's smart, I'm sure she'll think of a way to get the well working again. She is a priestess, is she not? I'll miss you to death, but since we're all best friends, we can't lose touch. We just can't. Remember that…keep up the constant email flow. And remember how much I said I hated those annoying forwards? Send me a zillion of them."

Love and goodbye hugs,

Hojo

Hojo had sent his email as one long one to all four of them. Her eyes welled up with tears as she saved the email to her hard drive and clicked on the next email from Yuka. She'd sent individual letters, and the tears in Kagome's eyes fell onto her keyboard.

Kagome-chan,

"Hi. I'm going to miss you so much. You will be able to come back…right? I know your grandfather said that the well would seal up- and I respect your decision- but how will you make it there without us? I realize that you've got all of your friends from the feudal era…and that cute boyfriend of yours! But you won't forget about us will you? We're best friends…all five of us. You promised that you'd come back…and don't forget it. If you don't, I'll cry myself dead. Tell InuYasha hello for me, and tell your kids about us, okay? I just know that I'll be an auntie someday. You will let me be an auntie, right?"

Love,

Yuka

The next letter was from Ayumi.

Kagome,

"How are you now? I just ran out of tears on the plane to America. There's a really cute guy on the plane in the seat across the aisle! He's also headed to New York. I've been talking to him, and you wouldn't believe it…but he lives in the same town I'm going to! I'm going to miss you a lot, but even if you can't stay in touch, I'll still know that we're still friends. Nothing can ever change that. If you can't come back for the 10-year class reunion, it's okay, but it would be nice- especially since we probably won't se you again after you go to Feudal Japan.

Be sure to write back before you leave, and when you get on the other side of the well, tell your friends that I said hi, alright? Tell InuYasha that I said that he'd better treat you good, cause you leaving had better be worth it. You have to marry him if he agrees. I'll see you again sometime, I just know it."

Love, Ayumi

The very last letter was from Eri.

Kagome, my best friend,

"I know that by now, everyone's already told you about how we found out about Feudal Japan and InuYasha. But still, I'm going to miss you just as much as everyone else. Even if you can't write, I'll know that we're still friends. You won't let something like a stupid well break up our friendship, right?

Since you're a priestess (I still think it's cool), you might be able to open the well with a spell or something. Wouldn't that be awesome? If you can't make it to the 10 year reunion, that's okay, but I'll still consider you one of the best friends I've ever had (have). Goodbye, and I hope to see you again.

-Eri

-

Kagome's thoughts went outward, and she thought about the turn of events that her life was taking. Her friends had known about her going to Feudal Japan for almost a year now…it wasn't a wonder the question-flow had almost stopped. Her grandpa hadn't been reading as many medical books lately either. It was probably best that her friends knew anyway.

She hadn't wanted to keep anything from them to begin with.

She made sure that all of her friends emails were saved onto her hard drive, and shut down her laptop, closing it with a slight click. She heard a knock at her window, and she opened it to see InuYasha crouched on her windowsill.

"Do you want to wait?" he asked solemnly, seeing the tear-streaks on her face.

"No," she stated firmly. All of her friends had taken their life-routes, and now it was her turn. "I- I should go while I still can."

"Alright," InuYasha agreed, taking her bag.

"Let's go InuYasha…" she said when she stood at the top of the well. She looked back into the distance, at the sky. "Goodbye Eri, Ayumi, Hojo, and Yuka. Maybe I'll see you again someday, and maybe I won't. But no matter what happens, we'll always be friends forever…"

With that, she grabbed InuYasha's hand, and the couple hopped into the well forever, sealing the time barrier, and making Kagome's decision to stay in the past final.

As we go on,

We remember,

All the times we,

Had together…

And as our lives change,

Come whatever,

We will still be,

Friends Forever…

oXo…

I hope you enjoyed it. Or cried. Maybe both? It's reality, guys. It really is. When I wrote this, I hadn't graduated High School yet. I've been out of school for two years, now, and I had a friend move to Virginia to live with her boyfriend (now fiancé), and my other friend lives 40 minutes away, and has made new friends (and is also engaged). We talk once every three months or so. I know that, eventually, we'll lose contact.

(1)- At my High School, we were allowed to pick the teacher/couch who handed us our diploma. I chose my 7th/8th grade Reading teacher (who I teacher-aided for twice in the four years of high school).

Reviews appreciated. I'm already thankful for the 35 I've already gotten. I hope you enjoyed this revised edition more than the original, though.