- Lament of the Dead -

By Cataluna

I stood amongst the shadows, my face void of emotions as I watched them with a strange yearning. They were together again – alone and without their usual companions -- strolling silently through the forest with only the occasional beams of moonlight to guide them. I questioned why I continued to torture myself as my eyes narrowed into slits and a familiar feel of bitterness stirred strong within me. Perhaps my reason was purely sentimental; their time together brought back memories of my past, of countless secret meetings between the hanyou and me. Or perhaps my action was out of spite, I longed to see the hurt in her face and tears to spill forth from her eyes with his willing departure to be with me. Only me.

But something had changed. I saw the usual twitch of his nose before he turned slightly to my direction, his wild eyes peering through the darkness to catch my own. I could only stare back, my gaze unwavering as I beckoned for him to come. This time was unlike the last for he purposefully turned away to restore his full attention to her; my presence quickly ignored and forgotten. My grip on the tree trunk tightened and hundreds of tiny splinters dug deep past my skin. Their figures were retreating fast as he guided her away with not another glance in my way. I wondered if he was finally sick of the scent of damp earth and bones.

Still I continued to watch as she spoke to him softly, her hands gesturing animatedly in front while he took in her every word. She remained oblivious to the silent exchange that had just transposed between us and to the decision that had been made on her behalf as she carried on with her mindless chatter. A rare smile crossed his face and she smiled brightly in return. My jealousy grew from that one simple gesture.

He dropped suddenly to the dirt floor before they could completely disappear from my view. The girl stood undecidedly in front of him, shifting her weight from heel to heel until he reached for her hand and pulled her gently down beside him. I caught the reddening of her face as she folded her legs beneath her indecently short kimono, keeping herself close yet giving him the distance he needed. He regarded her with an amused expression and leaned backward, tucking his hands inside his sleeves.

I could see how much he had fallen, and the desperate ways he was trying to hide his feelings for her, never realizing how his mannerism and words continued to betray him. But they were the only two who were fooled by his tactics.

A sudden breeze filtered through the forest, shifting branches and bringing with it the first sign of autumn. The girl shivered involuntarily as the cool wind ruffled her hair. She rubbed her arms vigorously to create warmth while leaning subconsciously towards him to draw in the heat from his body. Brows knotting in worry when he noticed her teeth clattering, he swiftly removed his outer haori and draped it over her shoulders.

I wanted to laugh even as tears stung my eyes. Imagine that, the hanyou I had once knew was this worried over a human. He had protected me when I was alive but never had he offered me his haori. To him, I was strong and invincible, a statue that he could look but not touch. I was not a fragile creature like her. And now, I had been reduced to a body of dirt and bone, kept alive by the souls of dead girls, while she held the spirit of a thousand.

She rested her head on his shoulder, causing him to blush in embarrassment. It wasn't long before he was leaning against her too, wrapping those arms that had once held me close around her.

At least I had his kiss. Even if I had been the one to initiate it, I had tasted them and felt his breath warm against my mouth. I lifted a hand to my lips. His breath had kept me warm in this cold body through many lonely nights. From what I could tell, her lips were still unclaimed by his.

I turned and walked away.

Yet.

A/N:

Do I like Kikyou? No. Do I hate her? No. I think that the hatred towards Kikyou is further fueled by countless fanfics that portray her in the worst possible light. Pretty soon you'll start to believe that she really is an evil slut. What I do feel for her is pity and sympathy. It's heartbreaking to die thinking your boyfriend was your killer and then be resurrected later only to find him with another girl. Worse of all, she IS you. And everyday, you see that he is slipping further and further away and there's nothing you can do about it.

I do think that Inuyasha is trying to distance himself from her. There are several instances where he indicates that he knows Kikyou is nearby but does not run after her. I also think that Kikyou is no longer trying to drag Inuyasha to hell with her. Oh well, only time will tell.

Ehh. That's what I get for not sending this to a beta. Thanks Nghi for pointing things out.