DISCLAIMER: Nope, I don't own Inuyasha or anything to do with it.
You're not Alone
By: Of Memories Past
No. Shuddering, she tentatively brought her hand to touch the edge of the ancient wood. It was so cold. As she gazed down into the dark depths, her sparkling tears falling freely, she realized that the old warmth that it had possessed had disappeared, and it now only held the same loneliness as before. The life that it had once had was gone. The life that it led to was gone.
She shook her head, not wanting to believe what lay in front of her, and lifted her trembling body onto its edge. The pain from her bloody knees did not even register, although their current condition was to blame from committing the same action that she was about to take again. Clenching her eyes shut, she plunged into the darkness.
And she landed on the harsh earth that had been there for the past five hundred years.
Her fingers dug into the soil while the tears welled up once again in her eyes. It was hopeless.
And knowing so, she pounded the earthen floor in fury and despair. "INUYASHA!"
"Hurry, Inuyasha! Try it again!" The small kitsune sat by and watched with tearful eyes as the hanyou desperately tried to break whatever barrier it was sealing the well. He could not bear to lose another mother. Even Kaede had tried her hardest, shooting the most powerful sacred arrows she had down into the well. But nothing would break the seal.
His own tears of frustration forming, Inuyasha dropped the Tetsusaiga and fell to the ground, pulling a sobbing Shippo into his arms. Shippo cried harder than he ever had with his face buried in Inuyasha's haori. Sango and Miroku stood by watching with pale faces as the last attempt failed. The demon-huntress began crying at the loss of her best friend, immediately moving to the comfort of Miroku's arms. For once the monk kept his hands to himself and silently allowed the tears to course down his cheeks. She was gone. Forever.
"It be the Jewel," Kaede observed quietly. She reached out and touched the edge of the well. "Ye have completed ye task. Naraku is dead and the Jewel complete. The Jewel sent Kagome back to her own time. She is not needed here anymore."
Inuyasha shook his head stubbornly, glaring at the jewel that had been the cause of his trouble for as long as he could remember. He needed her. First it had taken Kikyo from him, and now it had taken Kagome. "There has to be a way," he said through clenched teeth. Instinctively, he held Shippo tighter.
Kaede shook her head sadly. "Only time, Inuyasha. Only time."
Time. Realization donned on him, and he carefully straightened the kit in his lap. "Stop crying, Shippo."
Shippo sniffled, rubbed at his eyes, and then looked up at Inuyasha. "Why?" His lower lip quivered, a warning that the tears were once more about to overflow.
He sighed and ruffled Shippo's hair before setting him on the ground. "We will see Kagome again." Even though it would be a while, the assurance was there. Demons lived through the ages. But even as that thought crossed his mind, he threw a sad glance toward the humans. Miroku, Sango, and Kaede would not get that chance.
Clenching her eyes shut and biting her lower lip, Sango's fists tightened before she released a sob and ran to Inuyasha, flinging herself in his arms. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck as she buried her face into the fine silver hair and just cried.
Inuyasha was surprised at first when Sango launched herself at him. But after the initial shock wore off he carefully wrapped his arms around her quivering form, completely enveloping her in the red haori.
"It's okay, Sango," he soothed, rocking her back and forth gently. But he knew that it was not. Sango would not see her best friend ever again. "It will be okay."
Sango took in a sharp breath as more tears rolled down her cheeks. "Promise me you will take care of her?" She pulled back and looked Inuyasha straight in his amber eyes. "Promise me." The last statement was more of a command.
Inuyasha nodded. "I promise."
More at ease with his answer, Sango pushed her self away and stood up. Determined, she looked to Kaede and Miroku. "We're not going to see her again, but that doesn't mean that we lose her completely. This isn't going to be easy for her either." She turned back to Inuyasha. "I'm going to write her until the day I die. When you find her again, give her the letters for me?" Sango's voice choked.
He lightly grasped Sango's hand. "I will."
"And we will write her also." Miroku said, wrapping an arm around Kaede. "It will take more than the power of that Jewel to keep us out of each other's lives."
Kaede looked down at the fully completed Jewel in her hands. Sighing she walked over to Inuyasha and placed it in his hands. "She would want ye to have it."
He looked down as the one thing that he had searched for most of his life was given to him. But things were different now. His brows furrowed and an angry snarl escaped his lips. "I don't want it. I hate it."
"Guard it, Inuyasha. Guard it as she would have," Kaede warned. "Many demons will be after it now that it is complete, but it still cannot be purified without Kagome."
He took it against his will. The desire to throw the loathed object to the ends of the earth swelled up inside of him, but he pushed it back knowing full well that his duty to it was far from over. A small tug on his kimono brought him from his thoughts.
Shippo looked up at him with wide eyes. "What do we do now, Inuyasha."
"We wait, Shippo. We wait for five hundred years."
Kagome growled violently at the mathematical equation in front of her. School. It had seemed so important to her before while she fought in the Warring States Era, desiring not only to complete the Jewel but also to succeed in her classes. Only now, one year after the fateful sealing of the well, she found herself loathing the very idea of it. It had taken her away from her friends just so that she could take a difficult test or study. It had take away from her precious time with the people she loved. And she would give anything to go back and spend all those times she had come home to study or take a test back in the feudal times.
Refusing to let anymore tears fall, Kagome abrasively shoved her schoolbooks into the darkest corner of her room and changed into a pair of sweat pants and a work out shirt. She would take her frustrations out on the equipment in the gym downtown. As she pulled her hair back into a high ponytail, she realized that it was one of the only things that calmed her spirit these days. That and sitting by the Goshinboku. She craved physical activity, missing all the hours of running that she got back; she craved the peace that she had had in the past.
"Mama, I'll be back in a couple hours!" she called on her way out the door, only stopping to scratch Buyo's ears and grab her gym bag. She ran all the way to the bus stop.
"Hang in there, Kaede," Inuyasha murmured. He picked up a cool cloth and laid it on her forehead. "You can't leave us yet."
The old, dying woman looked up at the hanyou and smiled. He had changed so greatly over the years. "My time has come, Inuyasha. Ye all will be fine without me." She comfortably closed her eyes and smiled again before reaching up and laying a hand on his cheek. "Ye are both my elder and my junior, Inuyasha. I remember ye from the time when I was a child. I remember the big, strong hanyou who often came to see my sister."
Inuyasha unashamedly let the tears in his eyes fall down his cheeks. He remembered Kaede as a little girl. She had been the one little girl in the whole village that showed no fear of him. He smiled, remembering how she would come flying toward him as he entered the village, fearlessly scrambling onto his back and hitching a ride all the way back to her hut. But reality snapped back into place as an old, frail hand grasped his. He sadly looked down at her. His little girl was dying.
Kaede took in a sharp breath before continuing. "But if ye jump ahead fifty years, I can also remember watching over ye as if ye were a pup, constantly having to separate ye and another girl from arguing."
"Feh." He turned his face away, trying his best to look annoyed with her. He knew it was not working when he heard the old voice chuckle. He grew concerned as hand suddenly clutched his tightly. He knew that it was time.
"Inuyasha…" She whispered.
Inuyasha looked down at her and smiled.
Kaede felt tears of her own forming as she looked at that smile. It held in it everything that he had never told her to her face. She knew that the hanyou—the hanyou that she had grown up admiring for his strength and noble character— cared for her.
"Do you prefer me as your elder or junior, Kaede?"
Kaede closed her eyes and smiled at the gentle tone in his voice. "As my elder, Inuyasha." She opened her eyes and smiled when she felt the clawed hand resting gently on the side of her face.
"Then go to sleep, dear Kaede," he whispered, the tears falling freely, "and I will see you when the sun rises again."
Kaede smiled peacefully as her childhood hero leaned over and kissed her forehead. Her life slipped away from her, her soul completely at rest.
Kagome grimaced at her luck as she climbed aboard the bus. Packed to its fullest, she would be fortunate to find a seat. She paid the driver and then pushed and shoved her way to the back where the last seat available was. "Ugh, sweatpants are not good for a hot, crowded bus," she thought, taking her seat next to a young man about her age. But she did not sit too closely. The looks he gave her sent an unnerving sensation running up her spine.
He was a good-looking guy but obviously a troublemaker also. His deep, brown hair hung carelessly over his right eye as he lustfully eyed Kagome. Those piercing blue eyes took their time running up the length of her body coming to rest on her face. Resting his elbows on his tattered jeans, he leaned forward.
"And what would your name be, sweetheart?" he asked huskily.
Kagome crossed her arms over her chest stubbornly, obviously not appreciating being ogled. "It is none of your concern." With that she turn her face, refusing to give him anymore of her time. Guys like that were trouble, no questions asked. Instead she turned her attention to the little girl sitting across from her.
She had to stop herself from staring. The child could not have been any older than seven years of age, but already had an exotic beauty about her. Long, creamy, blonde hair was pulled back traditionally, beautifully complementing the traditional kimono that she wore. Kagome could not take her eyes off of the kimono. The fine, silken material was the color of summer roses…an almost blazing pink color…embroidered with fine gold thread that seemed to burn like fire as the late afternoon sunlight fell across it. She took into notice that the girl seemed to have a black diamond tattooed on her forehead, and her deep, pink eyes stared at her just as intently as she was staring at her. Turning her attention back to her hair, Kagome noticed that the tips were not light like the rest, but instead they were a deep black.
"So light and then so dark," Kagome observed silently. "She's breathtaking…just like a new doll." She smiled at the little girl, her heart lightening a bit when a small grin was returned to her.
"Are you listening to me, girl?!"
A sudden, harsh jerk on her ponytail forced Kagome's attention from the little girl back to the young man sitting next to her. She winced in pain as he tightened his grip and did not let go.
"Let go of me," Kagome demanded, her neck starting to ache from the strange angle it was being held at. Anger surged through her body when a sound hand connected with her face.
"You listen when I'm talking to you, girl," the boy said, raising his hand to make another strike.
Kagome closed her eyes, waiting for the slap.
"Let her go."
The soft yet stern voiced caused Kagome's eyes to snap open. There, standing before her and the brutal teenager, stood the little girl. She could not believe what she was seeing. Here among a bus full of full-grown men and other adults, only a small child had been noble enough to stand up to the young man.
"And what if I don't?" The rogue laughed cruelly at the little girl.
The girl snarled, all previous evidence of innocence gone. "You will."
Kagome gasped. The little girl's deep, pink eyes burned like fire.
Kirara chirped sadly as she watched her mistress lay weakly on her sleeping mat. Sango was dying, and Kirara knew that she soon would not see her master again. But instead of remaining in her kitten form, the fire-cat transformed into her larger self and lay down next to her mistress. She could at least keep her warm.
"Kirara," Sango smiled fondly as she reached up a gnarled hand to scratch her loyal pet's ears. "You always did stay by my side."
Growling mournfully, Kirara rested her head next to Sango's. It had to be hard for her not having her family with her. Her children had moved to a village far away after they married, and Sango was now all alone since Miroku had died a month earlier.
"Oh, Kirara, stop it." Sango laughed at the perplexed expression on her pet's face. "I will miss you, but do not mourn for me. I will be with Miroku again!" The thought of seeing her husband again filled the old demon huntress with anticipation. "And he had better not be chasing women when I find him either."
A long, broken growl erupted from Kirara, and Sango took it to mean laughter.
The fire-cat turned her head to Sango, leaving them almost nose-to-nose. "Watch out for Kagome when you all find her again. Take good care of her." She smiled. "And you make sure that Inuyasha gives her those letters, or else you give his ears a good tug for me. Okay?"
Kirara purred and nestled closer to her old friend.
"We were always partners in everything, Kirara," Sango whispered, her breaths becoming shorter. "Everything. And we always will be." She snuggled closer to her pet. "I love you, Kirara."
The fire-cat looked down at the woman who appeared to be sleeping at her side. Her mistress—her friend—was gone.
"This is the last time," the soft voice said. "Let her go."
The man growled and raised his hand. "No."
A sudden shout of pain erupted from the young man as he went to strike the little girl, and he released his grasp on Kagome's hair.
Kagome rubbed the back of her head, gratefully turning her glance to the girl who spoke in her defense. What she saw caused her own chocolate colored eyes to widen. That small child had caught the hand about to strike her by the wrist, her small fist still wrapped tightly around it. And the harasser was shouting in pain. When she finally released him, a burn mark was left where the girl's hand had once been.
"How…what…how could…" Kagome stuttered.
Turning her beautiful face to Kagome, the little girl smiled reassuringly. "You are not alone, Kagome-chan." With that the little girl left for the front of the bus as it came to a stop and got off.
Turning around, Kagome noticed that the young man had moved to the other side of the bus, intent on staying away from women and nursing his injury. She smiled, wishing that she could thank the little girl, whoever or whatever she was.
"Strange day," Kagome muttered to herself, paying the man at the counter for use of the gym. "Thanks." Grabbing her receipt and running shoes, she turned and walked over to a bench and sat down to change her sneakers. She missed the intense stare of a teenage boy watching her.
He watched as she carefully leaned down to tie her shoelaces before going for her run around the track and cautiously put the weights he was using back on their rest. She looked exactly like she always had. Her wavy, black hair flew softly behind her as she raced around the track, quickly surpassing all other runners. He snorted. Of course she could outrun them! Anyone who did as much running as she had would be able to. Tears filled his eyes as starry nights around a small fire entered his memories. Oh, how he had missed those!
He quickly glanced around to make sure that his companion was not watching him. He was in luck. The man he was with had all of his concentration on what he was currently bench pressing. "He's going to kill me," the teenager thought as he raced off in pursuit of Kagome.
His pace matched hers easily and he soon found himself running along side of her. "Just like old times," he thought happily. "Real old times."
Kagome noticed that she now had a running partner and glanced curiously up at the boy running beside her. Green eyes smiled back at her. Gasping, Kagome quickened her pace. She knew she had not met him before, and yet he looked strangely familiar. Too familiar, but she could not quite put her finger on it. He was quite handsome, so she was sure she would have remembered him. But for some reason, his appearance brought tears to her eyes as old memories surfaced once again.
The young man frowned and sped up. Oh no, he was not losing her again now after all these years! His long, reddish-brown hair was tied back loosely in a low ponytail and swayed slightly as he ran. "Kagome, wait!"
Kagome stopped on the track and turned to face her pursuer. He knew her? "Who are you?" she asked cautiously as he approached.
Tears filled his eyes as he gave her a smile. "Oh, Kagome. Don't you remember me? He moved closer and grasped her hand. "Please remember me. Please, Mama?"
Kagome's eyes widened, and she felt her heart stop in her chest for a moment. That boy who looked to be her own age just called her "Mama." But it couldn't be. That was impossible. Her hand subconsciously reached forward and rested against his cheek as she stared him right in the eyes. Those beautiful green eyes were full of tears as he gazed at her just as intensely.
"Shippo?" she choked.
He nodded, the tears falling down his cheeks.
"Shippo!" Kagome cried, throwing herself at her surrogate son.
He laughed and picked her up and swung her around as she happily cried, kissing him all over his face like she would when he was little. His own tears of joy mingled with hers as their faces lay pressed together in a tight embrace.
Kagome continued laughing and crying, refusing to let go of him. He was still her baby as far as she was concerned, even if he stood taller than she did now. "You're so big! Picking me up…I used to do that to you…so handsome…you're here…it's been so long…I missed you...so big now…"
"I missed you too, Kagome!" He pulled back and swiped first at his eyes and then hers. "We've had to wait four five hundred years, and we finally found you."
A confused and hopeful look crossed her features. "We?"
Shippo opened his mouth to answer her when an all too familiar scent was detected behind him. He watched as her face paled and looked up at the man behind him.
"Inuyasha?" Kagome looked up at the man who had hastily pushed past Shippo, casting the boy an annoyed glance before turning his attention back to her. Violet eyes met hers as she felt herself slowing filling up with more tears and blushing. She held back a sob and rushed forward, tightly wrapping her arms around him. It was Inuyasha! Her hands clutched the long, black hair that hung loosely past the middle of his back as she cried into his chest, overjoyed at having him back again. She only cried harder as he held her to him just a tightly, softly scratching her back while tears of his own fell freely. Kagome pulled back and reached a hand up to his face. "You're crying?"
"Feh," Inuyasha growled. "We can't talk here. Shippo, let's go." Clutching her hand, Inuyasha led Kagome outside to his car as Shippo trailed closely behind.
Kagome climbed into the front and buckled up; Shippo crawled into the back.
"You can drive, Inuyasha?" Kagome asked when he climbed in the driver's seat.
He buckled and started the ignition. "Why wouldn't I know how?" he answered, now fully adapted to the current times.
Kagome suppressed a smile. "I seem to remember a time when you thought a car was a demon…"
Inuyasha smirked and backed out of the parking lot. "That was a long time ago, Kagome. A long time."
They pulled up to a small, but nice apartment complex. Inuyasha expertly parked the car and growled at Shippo to get out. But he allowed Kagome to take her time, walking around and opening the door for her when she was ready. She smiled at him as she climbed out, reaching forward and taking his hand. He grasped hers in return, leading her up the stairs to the apartment he shared with Shippo and one other person.
Immediately, the smell of a home-cooked meal invaded her senses. Kagome looked about the apartment in amazement. For such a small complex, things certainly were roomy. A counter lined with stools separated the spacious living room and kitchen, another door leading to a hallway on its opposite side. Another hallway and two more bedrooms stemmed off from the right side of the living room while the third was on the left side of a hallway on the opposite side of the kitchen. A small dining room even lay just around the corner of the main room.
"This is really nice," Kagome mused, looking at the old art adorning the walls. She smiled. It was from the feudal times. Even a few of Shippo's old crayon drawings were now framed and hung up.
Inuyasha approached Kagome and handed her a glass of water. "Shippo drew those four hundred years ago." He pointed to the more elaborate paintings. "It's a miracle they've lasted."
Surprised, Kagome turned to the teenage kit who was currently rummaging through the refrigerator. "You drew those?"
He nodded and pulled out an apple. "Do you want one, Kagome?"
She declined the fruit. "Those pictures are beautiful."
Shippo blushed and flopped down in front of the television. He began flicking channels, completely unaware of the look the hanyou was giving him.
Inuyasha glared and took the remote from his hands.
"Hey!" Shippo shouted. "What was that for?"
"Get into the shower now," Inuyasha ordered. "You smell like you've been at the gym all day."
Shippo frowned and transformed back into his normal self. Kagome gasped. Sitting before her was the same bushy-tailed, fanged kitsune she knew before, only he was older. He pulled his hair back into a high ponytail, and Kagome had to suppress a giggled when he tied it back with that same little blue bow.
Inuyasha rolled his eyes and pulled a gold chain out from underneath his workout shirt. Once he removed it, the hanyou with long silver hair, amber eyes, and the cutest ears she had ever seen stood not even two feet away.
"I was wondering how you looked human," she said, fighting the urge to scratch his ears. "So this is what transform you?"
"Only my appearance," Inuyasha replied, handing it to her. "Youkai had to find someway to conceal themselves as the years went by. Not all of them can shape-shift like Shippo here." He handed his to Kagome. "They look like gold, but they're made from something called the Jewel of Dragon."
Shippo chose that moment to go and get something to drink, and Kagome playfully grabbed his tail as he walked by. He yelped and then turned to his surrogate mother, grinning playfully.
"Not inside," Inuyasha warned. "Now, go get into the shower."
"You need to get into the shower too, Inuyasha," a soft voice said.
Kagome gasped in surprise. Standing before her was the little girl from the bus that had helped her. The brightly colored kimono had been replaced with pajama bottoms and a too-large t-shirt, and her elaborate hairstyle was now just a simple braid going down her back. Yet, those exquisite features were still there. She was still the prettiest little girl Kagome had ever seen.
She walked over and leaned down in front of her. "Thank you for your help today."
The girl giggled. "You don't remember me?"
Kagome smiled and shook her head. "I wish I did."
A sudden chirp erupted from the girl. Kagome stared startled and then watched in amazement as the small figure before her disappeared until the pajama pants and too-large t-shirt lay in a pile on the floor. The small bundle of clothing began to move, and a tiny fire-cat jumped out.
"Kirara!" she cried, scooping the animal up into her arms and hugging her closely. "It was you!"
Kirara purred loudly and snuggled up underneath Kagome's chin. It had been so long! The feeling of home became closer as she cuddled up to her mistress's best friend. She still missed Sango greatly, but being with Kagome helped to ease the pain.
Inuyasha growled and fixed the fire-cat with a glare. "Kirara…"
The precious kitten took a moment to growl at her roommate and then transformed back into the child. "He is so impossible at times, Kagome." She took her old friend's hand and led her into the kitchen. "Are you hungry?"
Kagome nodded, and Kirara happily began fixing a plate of the food she had cooked.
"Shippo, shower," Inuyasha commanded once more. Shippo grumbled and reluctantly went to take his bath. Satisfied that Shippo was taken care of, he marched over to the kitchen and leaned over the counter. "Kirara, that's my shirt."
"All my clothing is in the laundry," came the soft reply.
"So do your laundry!"
"It's easier to get your clothing. Now, go get into the shower."
Inuyasha growled and then crossed the kitchen. His room was in the hallway on the other side of it. He stopped in the doorway, a somber look on his face as he looked down at the floor. "Kirara, please explain everything to Kagome. Tell her everything that has happened." He turned his amber eyes to look at them and then left.
The sad look on Kirara's face alarmed her.
"Kirara?" she asked?
"Sit down, Kagome." She motioned to the couch in the living room, and there she spilled the story of the last five hundred years.
Inuyasha slowly dressed and then sat down on the edge of his bed trying to towel dry his long, silver hair. He had finally gotten her back. After five hundred agonizing years of waiting, he had finally been reunited with Kagome. Life had been hard without her. He closed his eyes as an old pain resurfaced. Going through the deaths of their close friends without her had been one of the most difficult things he had lived through. She had always been there for him before. First Kaede had passed away. But her death had always been expected considering that she was old when they "first met" again. But then he, Kirara, and Shippo had painfully watched as Sango and Miroku slowly aged and eventually died. Tears stubbornly refused to flood down his cheeks as he stood up in search of a t-shirt since Kirara had taken the one he was going to change into. He could not cry. Not now. Not when he knew that Kagome was going to need him.
Sighing and giving up on the t-shirt, he flopped down onto the bed, lying on his back just as the door creaked open. He did not say a word as her scent filled his room and slowly became stronger as she made her way toward him. The salt from her tears was evident, and overwhelmed him as she sorrowfully lay next to him and buried her face in his chest. He simply pulled her closer and stoked her back, allowing her to cry.
And she cried for the next hour until she fell asleep.
Kagome awoke a while later and found herself warmly tucked underneath a thick quilt. She sleepily blinked her eyes, remembering where she was and then snuggled down deep under the covers. "Inuyasha and Shippo brought me to their home. And I fell asleep in Inuyasha's room." Kagome smiled and turned her face to the pillow, breathing in deeply. He had the same scent that he had five hundred years ago. He still smelled of new earth, of the wind, and of a fresh spring. It comforted her, and she loved it.
But she could not relax in bed forever. She sat up and stretched, noticing the dim fire in the fireplace. It was so different and yet so similar at the same time to their home in the feudal era. She smiled, deciding that a few more minutes would not hurt, and she once again wrapped herself with the warm quilt.
"Enjoying ourselves, are we?" Inuyasha said, walking over and sitting on the edge of the bed. "Feeling better?"
Kagome sat up, still under the covers, and brought her knees to her chest. "I'm feeling as well as I can. It's a lot to take all at once, Inuyasha." She smiled as he nodded and took her hand. "You've changed."
"Feh." He looked away, pretending to be annoyed at her comment.
"Well, maybe only a little," she giggled.
Inuyasha mumbled and moved closer to her. "How so?"
Kagome's breath caught as his features were lit up by the soft firelight. Oh yes, he had changed. She took a good look at the face that she loved so much. It was more chiseled than it had been before, giving him a more mature look while maintaining that boyish appearance all at the same time. The fine, silver hair reached an even greater length now, though not nearly as long as Sesshoumaru's had been, and his eyes were even a more golden shade of amber, if that was possible. Years of hard labor had honed his lean body. She glanced down at his broad shoulders and forced herself to look away. He was beautiful.
She swallowed. "You're more patient than you use to be. More open…" she absently took a hold of the silver hair and began playing with it, "…more affectionate."
He chuckled. "Raising Shippo and putting up with Kirara will do that to you." He smirked as an old memory entered his mind. "Shippo slept in my bed for eight years after we first lost you."
Kagome laughed. "Did he really?"
"Yes, and then Kirara took over after Sango passed away."
He regretted saying it immediately when a dark shadow crossed her features and tears became visible as they sparkled in the firelight. "I'm sorry."
Kagome shook her head and forced a grin. "I just miss her. But Sango always knew everything. I never hid anything from her. We parted well."
Inuyasha nodded and thought for a moment. "It's important to make sure that you take care of things and not let them sit and wait out time. You never know when something will happen." He visibly scowled. "And I still haven't learned that lesson."
Kagome looked up at him, biting her lip. "You mean that?"
He nodded. "Honesty is important. I learned that the hard way. Don't live with regrets."
Kagome did not say anything and only looked down at the pattern on the quilt covering her, absentmindedly tracing the threads. She looked up when she felt a clawed hand under her chin.
"What's wrong, Kagome?" His amber eyes implored her for an answer.
"It's not important," she answered quietly, shaking her head. She stood to leave, but Inuyasha reached out and took her arm, gently pulling her back to sit on the bed.
"It is important. And you're not leaving me until I get an answer."
Kagome thought for a moment before speaking. "You said not to live with regrets." He nodded, and she looked him directly in the eye. "I have one regret."
"What is it?" he asked.
She paused again, not fully trusting the next words to come out of her mouth. "I have always regretted that when I kissed you it wasn't under different circumstances," she whispered.
Red filled her cheeks immediately, and she was grateful for the darkness the room allotted. Kagome could feel her face burning with heat and knew without a doubt that it had to be crimson. And the heat only increased tenfold as he drew closer to her, so close that his lips were almost touching hers. But instead of closing the distance, he remained at a tantalizing closeness. If she barely leaned forward…
"You're not breathing, Kagome," he observed quietly, slightly amused.
Kagome took in a short, sharp breath, trying desperately to fill her lungs with air. She failed miserably.
Inuyasha brought his lips down until they barely touched hers. "Why not?"
The contact was so light that she could not feel any pressure. But the feeling of them moving ever so lightly against hers only caused her breathing to stop again. "I can't," she hardly managed to whisper.
Inuyasha's eyes locked with hers before moving down to her mouth. "Do you want to?" He slid is gaze back up to her.
Kagome clenched her eyes shut. "No regrets, and you will regret this later if you don't." "Yes."
"The go ahead, Kagome."
He did not need to say anymore. Her barriers were already broken, and she innocently pressed her lips to his. But she had not expected him to respond with the intensity that he did.
Inuyasha tightly drew Kagome into his arms, savoring the feel of her arms sliding up around his neck as he pulled her into his lap. "She's not the only one who regretted those circumstances," he thought, crushing his lips to hers even more as if he could not get close enough.
Kagome gasped as she felt his lips trail along her jaw and then down her neck, stopping at her shoulder. She shuddered and then pulled away.
She smiled, shaking her head. "We have to stop."
He raised an eyebrow, looking at her skeptically.
Laughing, Kagome pushed his chest lightly and stood up. "Mom always taught me to be a good girl, and I'm going to hold to that."
Inuyasha groaned and fell back against the bed, covering his face with the pillows. Truth was, one of the things he loved most about her was her virtue. She always held to her morals, and he remained proud of her for it. Only this time it was more difficult on him.
"Stop groaning," she laughed, grasping his hands and pulling him up. "We should go find Shippo and Kirara."
"I called your mother and let you know where you were and what happened," Kirara said as she sensed them come back into the room. The little girl's form stood on a stool at the stove unhurriedly stirring a pot of soup. "Do you feel better now, Kagome?"
Kagome smiled and nodded as the fire-cat turned to face her. But the smile disappeared as Kirara's expression faded from one of contentment into one of pure horror.
"Are you alright, Kirara?" Kagome asked, wondering what had caused that look on her friends face.
Suddenly, the Kirara's face lit up like fire. "Higurashi Kagome, why are your lips that swollen?!" she demanded, as Inuyasha snuck around her with a spoon to sample the soup. The girl's form suddenly turned on Inuyasha smacking his hand with her wooden spoon as he tried to sneak a taste. "And you! Learn to keep your hands to yourself!"
Inuyasha glared at Kirara. She glared right back.
"Don't give me that look, Inuyasha. Yours are just as swollen as hers. Kagome, he wasn't improper was he?"
Kagome giggled and shook her head. Oh, Kirara.
Inuyasha, on the other hand, was not at all amused. "Kirara," he growled, lunging for the girl.
But Kirara quickly popped into her kitten form, escaping his advance and racing around the kitchen, chirping wildly at Inuyasha as he pursued her.
Shippo, hearing all the noise, sleepily walked into the kitchen. "Good grief, Inuyasha. What did you do to piss her off this time?" He yawned and stretched.
"She started it!" he shouted chasing the tiny and chirping fire-cat into the living room.
Kagome simply sat giggling as Kirara successfully dodged every move that Inuyasha made toward her. But when the low growl sounded from one of the back bedrooms and Inuyasha came running back into the kitchen with a fully transformed Kirara hot on his heals, both she and Shippo doubled over in laughter.
"Kirara, not in the house!" Inuyasha demanded, avoiding one of the large paws trying to knock him over.
Kirara immediately changed back into the human child form and was back stirring the soup before Inuyasha even had a chance to recover from his dodge.
"Crazy Inu…" she muttered. Kirara added a bit of pepper to the soup, ignoring the ranting hanyou behind her.
Kagome grinned and hugged Shippo goodnight before placing her arms around Inuyasha from behind. He calmed down immediately.
"Some things never change, Inuyasha."
He smiled and turned into her embrace. "I'm driving you home now."
Kagome nodded and reached up to scratch his ears before lightly kissing him. "Mom and Souta will love seeing you.
Inuyasha looked up at his ears before placing the special golden chain around his neck once more. Kagome watching in amazement as his human form stood in front of her in mere seconds.
He smirked. "This time she can't get me."
Kagome laughed and took his arm as they headed out the door, calling her good-bye to Kirara.
"Good-bye, Kagome!" she called back. She turned back to her soup and started muttering. "Now make sure he behaves…"
A/N: Well, I really tried to get the whole thing done in one day, but it's just too late and there's too much more to write. I need sleep and already have to do my homework before class tomorrow. *Groans* I can do this. Oh well, give me some time and I'll have the next part up. I hope you all enjoyed. Please review. This is a load of work, and I would love to know what you all think. God Bless! ~ Of Memories Past