Disclaimer - I don't own them. I don't own this plot either . . . well, not technically, but I'll explain that in a minute.
Author's Notes - DracOnyx here, with a really sad fic that I hope you all won't kill me for. There is a story behind this fic, and it's just as sad as the fic itself.
This work of fanfiction is based on a series of real life events that is going on, even as we speak. A very good friend of mine, by the name of Shylie, is going through this in REAL LIFE right now. Therefore, this fic is dedicated to her. Shy, hun, I hope this helps you in whatever way it can.
For my reviewers, if anyone does review this . . . Gods, I have never written anything so depressing in my life. Do me a favor, all of you . . . whatever your religion, send up prayers or whatnot for Shylie and her husband. I can't even begin to imagine what I would do, and I don't think I would handle it nearly as well. I was practically crying my eyes out just writing this . . . I can hardly imagine what it will be like to read it. I'm hoping people won't kill me.
So, grab a tissue box and some chocolate to make yourself feel better. DracOnyx is coming at you with a dedicated story that goes out to my good friend Shylie. May your strength continue on, luv.
Not Always Happily Ever After
Cursing the Fates
Kagome sighed as she brushed an errant strand of hair from her face, glaring down at the book before her. It was difficult being in college . . . especially when you had three kids and a husband. 'Correction, a mate . . .' she thought to herself as she sat back, glancing in weary contemplation to the well house outside the kitchen window.
She had come over here to get some studying in, leaving her three terrors with their father and their godparents. She knew InuYasha could handle the kids . . . after all, he was half demon, and the children were only a quarter . . . but she felt a bit sorry for Sango and Miroku, who had their own son to keep an eye on as well. She knew her kids could be a handful . . . heavens only knew how much of an effort SHE had to make to keep up with them. At least they were still young . . . little Rin was nearly a year old, Inu was two, and her eldest, named after a certain monk, was four.
Five years had passed since they had finally defeated Naraku. Kagome sighed again as she thought back to that time . . . they had all stood among the wreckage of the battle, looking around in disbelief, hardly daring to believe that they had won. It was then Kikyo has showed up, as Kagome was retrieving the finally completed jewel . . . and InuYasha had made his choice.
A slight smile graced the young miko's lips as she thought back to that moment . . . the moment when InuYasha had told Kikyo he chose to live and be with Kagome. Kikyo had not taken that well . . . but the Shikon No Tama, sensing her dark presence, had reached out to purify her, fueled by Kagome's sudden anger. It had been over quickly . . . and InuYasha had claimed her as his mate.
"Those were simpler times . . ." she whispered softly, her eyes vague and unfocused as she relived that moment again. Sighing, she stood slowly and replaced her books. Studying for the exam would have to wait . . . right now she wanted to be in her husband's arms and hear him whisper his love to her again.
There was something wrong . . . she sensed it as soon as she arrived once again in the Sengoku Judai. A terrible pain clenched at her . . . wrapping around her heart and squeezing until she could barely gasp in breath's of air. Dropping her bag unceremoniously to the ground near the well, she sprinted towards the village, her worries about college long forgotten as the pain coursed through her. She forced her body faster, uncaring of the way her vision began to swim with the lack of oxygen. She stumbled into the village at a dead run, her sight blurry and unfocused as she tried to bring her miko powers to bear on the pain in her chest.
Her vision darkened suddenly as the pain grew worse, and she stumbled, saved from falling into the dirt by a pair of strong arms.
"InuYasha . . ." she whispered gratefully, panting to regain her breath as the pain finally receded from her miko energy.
"Kagome . . ." her catcher whispered in a harsh choked voice . . . and Kagome caught her breath as she realized that it was Miroku who had caught her. "It's . . ." his voice died off, unable to continue as blue eyes stared up at him.
"What's happened?" she asked hoarsely. "Where's my mate?" Her eyes pleaded with Miroku to tell her everything was fine, that it was just a minor tussle that had gotten out of hand. Unable to hold that gaze, Miroku looked away, not willing to be the one who broke his best friend's heart.
"Lady Kagome . . ."
Kagome looked away from Miroku to spy Kaede walking slowly towards them. Age was taking it's toll on the woman . . . she limped more than walked now, but her mind was still as sharp as ever, and she had come to be almost a second mother to Kagome. Pushing out of Miroku's arms, she approached the aging woman slowly.
"Kaede . . . where are my children? Where is InuYasha?" she asked, her voice laced with fear and uncertainty.
"Thy children are fine, child . . . they are with Lady Sango." She paused for a moment before turning her solemn gaze upon the young miko. "Thy mate . . . has fallen ill."
"But youkai can't . . ."
"InuYasha is not full youkai, Kagome . . . and this is a youkai disease, not a human one." Kagome stared at her in shock a moment before replying.
"But . . . you can cure it, right?" Kaede only continued to look at her solemnly. "Right!?" Kagome demanded, her voice becoming hysterical. An hand on her shoulder tried to calm her, but she shook it off roughly. "You can cure it!" she shouted, denying what Kaede's eyes were telling her.
"Child . . . I can not. He is dying," Kaede whispered finally. "If he were youkai, yes. If he were human, yes. But he is both . . . and neither. I can not save him. Nothing can." Her last words were lost on Kagome as she slumped back into Miroku's arms, her world having gone dark.
She awoke to the touch of a cool cloth on her forehead, and whispered conversations that were just beyond the reach of her hearing. Moaning, she reached up to grab the hand that attended her.
"I had such a bad dream . . ." she murmured, before opening her eyes. She met the face of a very concerned Sango . . . one that slowly grew into a mournful countenance. "Oh gods . . ." she whimpered. "Please, tell me it was just a dream . . ."
"Oh Kagome . . . I'm so sorry . . ." Sango whispered. "You two have had so little time . . ." Kagome sat up abruptly, startling Sango and forcing her to step back as the young miko stood.
"Where is he?" Kagome said, her voice calm and collected. "I need to see him."
"Kagome . . . perhaps you should rest a bit more . . ." A glare silenced the protest before it could finish and Sango sighed. "He's in the next room." Kagome moved quickly to go, but a gentle hand on her arm stopped her. "He's . . . not well, Kagome." The young miko turned to look at her best friend . . . and recoiled at the pity in her eyes.
"Don't look at me like that!" she hissed, pulling her arm away from the exterminator in anger. Turning, she moved to the blanket separating the two rooms, and stepped through it.
InuYasha lay silent and still on the futon in the corner, stripped of everything but his pants. He looked . . . so unlike her Inu that she had to blink a couple of times before she moved towards him.
"Inu . . ." she whispered. An ear twitched in response, and golden eyes opened slowly.
"Kagome . . ." he replied. Kagome nearly cried out at how weak he sounded . . . nothing like the InuYasha she knew and loved.
"Oh gods . . . Inu . . ." she murmured, falling to her knees beside the futon and taking his hand gently in her own. His other hand reached over and caressed her face gently, tracing softly through the tears that were silently running down her cheeks.
"Don't cry, Kagome . . ." he whispered, his breath hitching in his chest as another flash of pain ran through him.
"I don't want to lose you . . ." she choked out. "I love you so much . . . I can't live without you . . ."
"You have to, Kagome . . ." he replied, his own voice thick with the tears he would not allow himself to shed. "You have the kids to live for . . . and you will find someone else. You're strong, and beautiful, and brave . . . you have to go on without me, Kagome. Go on with your life . . ."
"NO!" she whispered harshly. "I won't . . . I can't . . . oh gods, why is this happening to us!?" She sobbed brokenly, her grip on his hand tightening almost to the point of pain. "Five years isn't enough . . . we still have so much time ahead of us . . ."
"I know, Kag . . . but there's nothing we can do. I can't be cured . . . I'm not a part of either world, and now it seems I won't be a part of any world . . ." Kagome's eyes lifted as her face brightened.
"The Jewel . . . if we wish you to be human . . . or even youkai . . ." She halted as he shook his head gently at her.
"No Kagome . . . we won't go that route. If we did . . . I would be alive, but I would no longer be who I am. Is that what you truly want?" Golden eyes studied her seriously as she stared at him.
"But . . . but you would live . . ." she whispered.
"No Kagome . . . I would still die . . . it would be a shadow of me that lived. You accepted me for who I was once . . . can you now deny me dying as myself?" A harsh, choked sob was his answer as Kagome stood and ran from the room.
InuYasha closed his eyes once more as the pain shot through him, causing him to grit his teeth rather than howl out in anguish. It couldn't match the pain in his heart, however. They had been through so much, come so far . . . and their reward was a mere five years of happiness before he followed Kikyo into hell anyway. Unacknowledged, a few tears leaked out from his closed lids and fell to wet the pillow beneath his head. It was so unfair . . . his whole life had been so damned unfair, and just as it had gotten better, he was going to lose it.
"The gods must think this is one cosmic joke . . ." he growled, his claws puncturing into the mattress beneath him as he lay there. He, the great hanyou, who had defeated Naraku and everything thrown up against him, was going to die of a stupid, petty sickness!
"Getting angry about it will only help it spread faster, InuYasha ."
"Shut up and go away, houshi!" he snarled, opening his eyes to glare at Miroku, who stood carefully just out of reach.
"InuYasha . . . I know you're hurting. I brought more herbs to help ease the pain. Kaede says it is only a matter of time before even her herbs can not help you. Take them while they will still help, and save your strength for what is to come." Growling under his breath, InuYasha allowed Miroku to help him sit up to drink the foul concoction, laying back with a sigh as the medicine began to spread through his system.
"You will help her get through this, right?" he whispered to Miroku, who nodded softly before exiting the room, leaving InuYasha to return to staring at the ceiling . . . and cursing all the gods he could think of.
Kagome sighed as she watched the kids run around the field of grass, chasing Kirara in kitten form. Shippo sat not too far away, helping Kagome keep an eye on them while she attempted to study for an upcoming exam. It had been a month since InuYasha had first fallen ill . . . and Kagome found she couldn't bear to stay in the village. Everywhere she turned there were looks of pity, of sorrow . . .all directed at her.
'Gods damn it . . . I'm not the one who's dying! My mate is!' she thought again for the hundredth time, slamming a book shut in her anger. They treated her like a porcelain doll . . . as if she would break at the slightest little thing these days. Only Shippo, Sango, Miroku, and Kaede still treated her the same . . . and it was stress for her to even be around them sometimes.
She had spent the first couple of weeks at InuYasha's bedside, refusing to move and leave his side for even a moment. It had taken her mate's gentle prodding to remind her that she had children who needed their mother now more than anything.
She had snapped out of her overwhelming depression . . . returning to as much of a normal life as she could while her mate lay dying by inches every day. Studying for exams, taking care of the children . . . and spend what precious time she could with her mate. It hurt to see him though . . . he had been so vibrant, so full of life . . . and now he was shackled to a bed, to weak to do much more than sit up on occasion. Each night, when the children went to bed, he gave each of them a hug and a kiss with what little energy he had stored up and assured them that he loved them very much and always would. It tore at her, tore at her heart to see him do it . . . as if he feared during the night that he would be snatched away from them and never get to tell them how he felt about them. The children didn't understand why he did this . . . how could their young minds comprehend that soon they wouldn't have a father, merely a rectangle of dirt in the ground to remember him by.
She hiccupped, a sob wrenching it's way from her chest as she wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to still her downward spiraling thoughts. She couldn't think like this . . . if she did, she would sink right back into the depression that had pulled her in before.
Shippo was beside her before she knew it, pulling her into a hug and muffling her sobs on his shoulder. He had grown much in the past five years . . . youkai matured faster than humans. In the span of five years, he had become a teenager . . . and a tall one at that. He now stood a good half foot above Kagome, but retained the childlike innocence that made him Shippo.
"Thank you . . ." she whispered after a few moments, pulling back and drying her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.
"It will be all right Kagome . . . we're all here for you . . ." Shippo said softly, one arm wrapped around his surrogate mother's shoulders in comfort as they sat watching the children together.
"I know. But he won't be . . . and gods, it hurts Shippo. Seeing him like that . . . the doses Kaede gives him are getting bigger every day. And all I can do is sit and watch as the most vibrant, strong man I've ever known fades away in front of my very eyes! I don't know what to do anymore . . . I can't stand to watch him like this, but I can't just leave him either. I love him so much, Shippo. This is tearing me apart . . ." She sobbed again, but caught herself before she could break down once more.
Shippo could only sit in silence, comforting her with his presence.
"He's getting worse each day," Kaede murmured. "The medicine is no longer keeping the pain from him, and we can not increase the dosage any further without risking the chance of sending him into a unbreakable sleep."
Miroku nodded and sighed as he helped Kaede prepare more of the medicine InuYasha needed. His heart hurt at seeing his friends in so much pain . . . InuYasha's physical, and Kagome's emotional. He knew Kagome was avoiding the village . . . the last thing she wanted right now was pity, and that was all the villagers could give her.
He eyed the nearby bottle of sake for the fifth time that hour, thinking over his plan. Sango was going to take the kids for the night . . . and Miroku was going to go get Kagome good and drunk. She needed a night of forgetfulness . . . a night of unbroken sleep and no nightmares, and getting her drunk was the only way HE could think of to do it.
"Lady Kaede . . . would it not be best if he did slip into an unbreakable sleep? He would no longer be in pain . . ."
"I will not deprive that child of her last days with her mate, houshi-sama," Kaede said firmly, glaring at him. "He has not much time left, and thee knows that when he does go, we will have to help her carry a terrible burden of pain for a time. Let her have what time she has with him . . . even if it be tainted by sickness, at least he is still here with her." Miroku nodded, agreeing wordlessly with her. Kaede was right . . . and he felt a sudden flash of shame for having even thought of such a thing. InuYasha was holding up under the pain . . . even managing to hide it quite well from his mate and their children. Miroku only prayed that his strength would continue . . . or that it would end soon. He felt guilty for wishing such a thing . . . but in the end, he knew that this waiting was doing more harm than good - to everyone.
He looked up as Kagome came in, Shippo trailing not far behind. He exchanged glances with Shippo, before nodding and standing up.
"Kagome? Could we . . . go somewhere and talk? Sango will look after the children." Kagome nodded listlessly, her eyes never meeting his.
"Yes . . . let me just check on InuYasha," she murmured in reply. She disappeared through the curtain for a few moments, returning quickly. "He's sleeping," she breathed with a sigh of relief. Miroku moved to take her hand, grabbing the jug of sake on the way.
Kagome looked up as she heard the curtain part behind her, turning to look at Sango and Miroku, who in turn smiled gently at her. She turned back to her task, bathing her mate gently in warm water as he lay in a coma. This sickness had finally overcome him a week ago, dropping him into a merciful sleep where the pain could not touch him. Kagome was thankful for that at least, even as she raged at the gods for doing this to her . . . to THEM.
"You would be so proud of little Miroku," she whispered to him brushing the silver bangs back from his forehead with tender fingertips. "He caught a squirrel today . . . and he did it just as quick and neatly as you could have done. He was so proud of himself . . . I only wish you could have seen it my love." She brushed back the silent tears that trailed down her face, continuing her ministrations as she spoke to her unconscious beloved. "Rin spoke her first word today . . . she said Dadda. You were right . . . she did call for you first. I should have known you would be right, you smug bastard." She hiccuped slightly as she swallowed back a sob. "I wish you could have heard her . . . but then again, maybe you did wherever you are now." She rose slowly, trailing a hand lovingly down his face before gathering up her things and turning to her friends.
"The kids are ready for bed . . . they're just waiting for Mommy to come tuck them in," Sango whispered. Kagome gave her a brief hug of thanks before going to put down the towels and water, then continuing on to her children's bedroom.
Little Rin, was already asleep, as was young Inu. She gazed lovingly at her younger children's faces. Inu looked so much like his father . . . he had the silver hair and amber eyes of his hanyou heritage. Rin, her tiny face angelic in sleep, took after her mother, with black hair and stormy blue eyes. From what they had seen so far, she had the temper too. Shaking her head to rid of herself of such thoughts, she went to tuck in her eldest.
Young Miroku was sitting on the edge of his bed, staring out the window. He, of all the children, understood that there was something bigger going on . . . but he had never asked. Kagome moved softly to sit down next to him, joining in his night time perusal of the stars. She was surprised when he suddenly spoke.
"Mommy . . . when is Daddy going to wake up and play with us again?" Kagome's eyes filled with tears at the sound of her oldest's voice. The little boy sounded so . . . unhappy, so unsure of himself.
"Oh, sweety . . ." she whispered, before enfolding him in a hug. "Miroku . . . Daddy is very, very sick and . . . he's not going to wake up, luv."
"Why Mommy?" the little boy asked, tears filling his eyes as he stared up at her from the circle of her arms. "Did I do something to make Daddy want to go away?"
"No Miroku . . . don't you ever think like that!" Kagome gasped, pulling her son closer. "This is none of your fault . . . none of you children had anything to do with this." Silently, tears fell from her eyes as she thought about how much her young son must have been holding in over the past few weeks. "Sweetling . . . Daddy does not want to leave, not at all. He has to . . . he has a very bad sickness that is making him leave us. It's no one's fault, Miroku, no one's at all."
"You won't leave . . . will you Mommy?" the little boy asked in a broken whisper. Kagome clutched him tighter, her heart aching in her chest at his words.
"No sweetling . . . mommy will never leave you. I swear it."
She tucked him into bed after a few moments, giving him a gentle kiss good night and blowing out his lamp before silently exiting the room. Once outside of the room, she made her swiftly out of the house before her legs collapsed under her. Sobbing, she pounded her fists into the dirt, taking out her anger, frustration, and fear on the earth that had once seemed like such a blessing to her.
It was like this that the houshi found her, curled in a ball on the ground outside, silently screaming in agony.
The end came silently, creeping up to them in stealth while they slept in darkness, taking away with it one of their best friends. Morning dawned cool and calm, the sun rising to break through an open window to bathe the unmoving form of the hanyou in it's pure light.
Kagome awoke minutes after dawn, her body in a cool sweat and an stillness in her chest that told her he was gone. Rising slowly from the bed they had shared, she wrapped his fire-rat coat around her shivering frame before moving to the next room to see him. She knew instantly that her feeling had been right . . . sometime in the night, InuYasha had passed on. Sinking on to the futon, she pulled his limp weight into her lap, threading her fingers through his hair to massage his ears one last time.
"I love you . . ." she whispered, as tears splashed silently onto his face, finally free of the last vestiges of the pain the illness had caused him. "Rest in peace, my love . . ."
The others found her like that a short time later, staring out the window into the dawning morning of a beautiful day, her beloved resting in her lap. Her face was calm, serene and beautiful in the early morning light, the tracks of her tears glittering like stripes of diamond on her upturned face.
"Kagome . . ." Miroku whispered, afraid to disturb her and break her brittle calm. Surprisingly, Kagome turned to him with a slight smile gracing her lips.
"He's gone on . . . but he's not gone. I can still feel him . . . in here." She touched a light hand to her heart. "As long as I love him, he will never be gone from me . . . and someday we will be together again." She ran her fingers gently through the long silver tresses, memorizing the feel of it slipping through her fingers. "I know it, Miroku. Until then . . . I will live this life for my children, and for him. Because it's what he wanted."
Kagome turned to look out into the window again, watching the sun ascend into the sky in a blaze of beautiful color, the gold of which reminded her of a hanyou's laughing eyes.
"I will always love you. Wait for me."
Ending Author's Notes - *grabs her box of tissues and starts dabbing at tears* Gods, I can't believe I wrote this! I hope you will all review . . . as I'm going to make Shylie read them too. Let me know what you guys think . . . I'm going to go be terribly depressed now.