Disclaimer: Inuyasha and its characters are owned and © by Rumiko Takahashi. Not me.
A/N: For those who are wondering, what the hell am I doing writing this when I have another story to work on… Ok, I just HAD to get this idea off my chest. It's meant to be a one-shot, but who knows? It may not end up being one. This fic is inspired by a variety of songs, but mostly by Mariah Carey's "Bringing on the Heartache". DO NOT FLAME ME!!! Just… don't. If you don't like this story, just leave it be and don't bother reading my work again.
A soft evening breeze whispered past a pretty young woman, ruffling her jet-black tresses. Brushing back the untamed wisps of hair, Kagome's deep brown eyes gazed along the edge of Kaede's village. He'd run off again, to meet her. The undead wench who would forever hold his heart, his life in her hands. It was too telling, the presence of her soul catcher, and the entrancement in his amber eyes. Kagome had watched as he'd glanced ruefully at everyone, barely meeting Kagome's eyes. Her heart broke as he tore his gaze away from her, practically ran after his past love's pet. She'd barely heard his heartbroken, mumbled apology. Kagome brushed at the tear that slid down her cheek. 'Who am I kidding… he will always be hers. As much as I love him…' She thought. 'Inuyasha…'
He moved quickly, keeping up with the ethereal soul catcher belonging to the beautiful woman he'd longed for so many years ago. Inuyasha knew when the ghostly soul catcher appeared that Kikyou was nearby. A pang of guilt washed through him as he thought of her. Kikyou. She died hating him. He owed her something, though he wasn't quite sure as to what. She claimed his life belonged to her, in the forest one dark evening. In the heat of that moment, he had claimed her life belonged to him as well. His emotions had gotten the better of him. And then a scent caught his attention and sent his heart plummeting to the depths of hell. Kagome. She had been there, been there as he'd practically bared his soul at the time. Her eyes caught everything, he was sure of it. Flashes of it ran through his mind. The embrace he'd pulled Kikyou into, the look on Kagome's face. He'd faced her, she'd run off, they made up. Why did she always forgive him? Why?
Suddenly his attention snapped back to the present, and a flash of red and white caught his eye. He stopped in his tracks, completely still as his amber eyes focused on the composed miko. Beautiful as ever, much colder than before. Kikyou…
Kagome turned around from the direction where Inuyasha had left and walked into Kaede's dwelling. Sango looked after her sadly, knowing she could never understand how Kagome must be feeling right now. Miroku frowned, mentally cursing Inuyasha for hurting Kagome in such a manner. Inuyasha was his friend, yes, but Miroku truly despised the hanyou's present actions and the decisions Inuyasha seemed to be making. Shippou's little temper flared, and his initial reaction was to go after Kagome. Miroku caught him by the shirt, and shook his head. Shippou looked down, wishing he could do something to help Kagome feel better.
A few long moments passed, and Kagome emerged from Kaede's with her backpack in hand. Tears sparkled in her eyes, and she hurriedly brushed them away. Placing a fake smile on her face, she walked up to Sango and Miroku, who were preparing their next meal.
"Sango-chan… Miroku-sama…" Kagome said softly. "I… I'm going home. I… I'm not sure if I'm coming back… so… please. Take care of the jewel shards." Kagome finished, gently placing the bottle in which she kept the shards in Miroku's cursed hand. Sango was stunned for a moment, staring at Kagome as if she'd just spoken Latin.
"Kagome-chan! You… you can't go…" Sango started.
"Sango… please, don't make this any harder than it is." Kagome said quietly. Tears rushed to her eyes, and Kagome struggled to blink them back again. "T… tell Inuyasha…" Kagome whispered. She stopped, turned away. "Goodbye…"
"Kagome…" Shippou's cheerful voice came up as the young kitsune came around the corner of Kaede's. He noticed that Kagome only glanced at him before quickly turning and walking away. Her walk became a run, and Shippou stared in confusion after her. "What's going on?" He asked anxiously. Sango pulled the little kitsune to her, hugged him close.
"You've come." Kikyou's impassive voice said quietly, breaking the silence. Inuyasha blinked, his mind returning to the present. Unsure of what to say, he waited. To his surprise, Kikyou crossed the space between them, cupped his face in her hands. Inuyasha winced slightly as what felt like ice crystals touched his cheeks.
"I knew you wouldn't let me go to hell alone… again…" Kikyou whispered, pressing her face into his chest. Her hands slid down his neck and around his back. Inuyasha felt it again. His consciousness slipping from him as Kikyou called upon the depths of hell to open up for her. 'I need to do this… she loves me, I lo-… I owe her…' he thought, his eyes drifting shut. A satisfied smile crept upon her lips. Somewhere, deep inside, she knew she didn't belong in this world. But she refused to pass on, refused to die again… not alone.
Kagome breathed heavily as she reached the well. Her legs ached, but not nearly as much as her heart. She stared into the well, then closed her eyes resolutely and jumped through. Her heart wrenched as she passed through the swirling lights signaling the passage of time through the enchanted Bone-eater's well. Landing, she hurried to her empty house and into her room, absently wondering where everyone had gone. Closing the door gently, she leaned against it, taking shallow, rapid breaths. She glanced around, making sure no one was there… and sank to her knees and cried.
Inuyasha was alone, in pitch blackness. Suddenly a spotlight illuminated from above, illuminating a woman to his right. Dressed as always in traditional miko garb, Kikyou looked directly at him for a brief moment. She turned and began to walk away, walking toward an indiscernible figure. Inuyasha tried to call out to her, but found no voice. He ran after her, though she never seemed to get any closer. She reached the figure, caressed the figure's face. Inuyasha squinted, trying to see this unknown person. Without warning, the figure's face was lit up. Inuyasha's eyes widened. His own mirror image stood before him, but it was only part of him; his human form.
Suddenly the image shifted, and he saw his worst nightmare relived for the millionth time… The beautiful miko firing the enchanted arrow directly at him, her eyes filled with hatred and betrayal. They'd dared to trust each other… yet that "trust" had been so easily broken. Suddenly his mind became clear. He may have loved Kikyou, but it wasn't a true love. Love is reciprocated, and Kikyou only really loved the human part of him. Trust built out of real love could never have been broken that easily, either.
Another soft light caught his attention, falling upon a lone young woman. She turned, and Inuyasha felt torn. Kagome. He tried again to call out, found he still had no voice. Wanting to walk to her, he found he could not move, either. Slowly, a copy of his hanyou form materialized before her.
'I like you as a hanyou, Inuyasha…' Her melodious voice was soft, surrounding him. Inuyasha continued to watch, and to his surprise, his hanyou form faded and his human form emerged. That form was drenched in sweat, and image of Kagome immediately lay him down. She gently sat next to him, letting his head rest on her lap.
'You… you smell kinda nice…' Inuyasha heard his own voice echoing quietly. Soon that image faded, and another nightmare arose… his full youkai form, crimson-eyed, growling, with claws tipped with blood. His demon side suddenly grabbed Kagome roughly by the arms, and Inuyasha could see his claws biting into her delicate skin. Still… she didn't run from him, she pulled him closer to her.
'I like you as a hanyou, Inuyasha.' Her words echoed again in his mind. Kagome… liked him, maybe even LOVED him for who he was.
Inuyasha's eyes snapped open. He was surrounded by a swirling purple mist, signifying his descent into hell. It was almost complete, and he could see the present world disappearing above him. He looked at the woman who held onto him and shook his head apologetically. Her eyes narrowed, and he felt her tense with power as she tried to make their descent faster.
"Kikyou… forgive me…" Inuyasha said quietly. He wrenched out of her grip, leapt out of the sinking crater in which she still stood.
"I can't die with you. I shouldn't have to die with you. My life is not yours to take… my life will not give you the peace you seek after. You died fifty years ago at the hands of Naraku… I was merely sealed. I was awakened for a reason – to destroy Naraku. You were dead, brought back to life… but you're not you." He said regretfully. Kikyou's eyes glazed over with tears as she suddenly realized he was correct. Yes, she too had been awakened… but he was right. She had truly died. Not only physically… her old self had died, too. This new person wasn't her, and she knew it. A tear slid down her cheek, and she humbly wiped it away. She smiled at him, her final act of forgiveness.
"Goodbye, Inuyasha." She whispered. Inuyasha shut his eyes as the earth closed back up, as if it had never opened in the first place. "Goodbye, Kikyou."
Inuyasha stood in silent somber, his eyes still closed. Suddenly his amber-gold orbs opened and he turned around, his eyes darting around the clearing. To his surprise, he saw a single white blossom. A balloonflower (FYI "Kikyou" means "balloonflower") in perfect bloom stood proudly against the drab twilight forest surroundings. He stepped over to it, gently touched it with his clawed fingers. A rueful smile crossed his face as he gently plucked it from its base and laid it where Kikyou had gone. Kneeling, he gave a silent wish for her to rest in peace at long last. A soft blue light wavered above the ground and dashed into the sky, only to return to where Inuyasha knelt. He opened his hand, and the light rested softly on open palm. Instantly, he knew what it was. He stood, straightened. He needed to get this piece of a soul back to its true owner. He took off toward the village, where he knew his Kagome would be waiting.
"GONE? Whaddya mean she's gone?!" Inuyasha bellowed.
Sango gave him a hard look. "Yes, she's gone, Inuyasha, and I'm sure you know why!"
"It's YOUR fault!" Shippou wailed. He launched himself at Inuyasha, but Miroku caught by the tail and kept the kitsune from a potentially dangerous situation. Shippou's struggling caused the bottle containing Kagome's shards, hidden in Miroku's sleeves, to drop to the floor. Inuyasha knelt and picked it up, realizing Kagome intended not to come back.
"Perhaps… perhaps you'll want to talk to Kagome-sama… although, I'm not sure you want to do that right now." The amorous monk stated calmly.
Inuyasha's face grew red with anger and embarrassment. "Keh! Don't tell me what to do!"
Sango sighed, placed a hand on Inuyasha's shoulder. "I'm… I'm sorry, Inuyasha. None of us have any right to judge you or advise your actions." Her comment only made Inuyasha feel even lower.
After a few minutes, Miroku shrugged and turned, muttering something about going for a walk. Sango and Kirara followed, taking Shippou into her arms and comforting the sniffling kitsune. Inuyasha watched them walk away. How could he be so stupid, so blind? How could he not know what his actions would do to Kagome? Sure, he'd done it before… but somewhere inside, he knew that no matter how extraordinary Kagome's heart may be, it could only take so much. And to have possibly driven her away forever… swallowing his pride, he took off toward the well.
He sat outside her window. She'd gone to bathe, and he decided to wait. At length, he heard the bathroom door open and Kagome stepped into her room, wearing pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. A towel was wrapped around her hair. Inuyasha's eyes traveled to her face and his heart stopped.
Her eyes were red, swollen. Whatever light had shone before was dimmed, almost like a candle's flame struggling to stay lit. His sensitive ears picked up her mother calling her, telling her dinner was ready. Kagome's reply was soft, but loud enough to be heard from the downstairs.
"I'm… I'm not that hungry, mama." She called gently. Damn it, even her voice was scratchy. Kami, had she been crying that much? Because of him? Kagome stepped back out of her room, and Inuyasha took the opportunity to slip in through the window.
Kagome came back from the hallway with a steaming hot towel, a futile attempt to alleviate her eyes. When she saw the inu-hanyou before her she froze.
"Inu… Yasha…" She whispered.
"Why did you go home?" Inuyasha blurted.
"I…" Kagome said. Anger, hurt, and frustration flooded through her.
"Why should I have stayed?" She asked, tears coursing from her already tender eyes. Inuyasha stared at her, dumbfounded.
"D… don't you… but the shards… and Sango, Miroku, Shippou…" Inuyasha stuttered. Kagome's heart wrenched.
"The SHARDS? You think I should have stayed because of the fucking SHARDS?!" Kagome's voice cracked on the final 'shards', her throat was so dry. Kagome grabbed a handful of the Shikon no Tama replicas her grandfather had tried to sell her on.
"This? This is the reason you think I should stay?!" Kagome yelled. She whipped them in no particular direction, but Inuyasha didn't even flinch. Suddenly Kagome was enveloped in Inuyasha's arms.
"What are you…" Kagome trembled, started to struggle out of his embrace.
"Shh…" Inuyasha whispered. Kagome looked at him, startled by his calm form. Normally, his temperament would have gotten to him by now, and they would have engaged in a rather thunderous yelling contest.
"Inu… Yasha?" Kagome whispered. The towel fell from her hair, allowing damp tresses to fall around her shoulders. Inuyasha gently ran a clawed hand through her silk raven hair, taking a handful and breathing in deeply.
"I'm sorry… I'm sorry, Kagome." His voice was low, meant to comfort. Bringing his face back, he looked at her face.
"Why are you doing this, Inuyasha? Why are you toying with me? That's why I lef-" Kagome's voice died down as pressed his lips to hers. It was a firm, but gentle kiss. Kagome pulled away.
"Don't play games with me, Inuyasha! My… my heart can't take it. My heart…" Kagome started.
"Your heart will never break again." Inuyasha cut her off.
"Kikyou's gone. She's dead." The statement had Kagome's eyes wide. She searched Inuyasha's face, but all she saw was a tinge of sadness surrounded by relief. So he was content. At ease now that Kikyou was in peace. Had that really been all he wanted with her?
"She… she's gone?" Kagome whispered. Inuyasha, who'd been holding on to the little blue light this whole time, brought his hand in front of her, near her navel. He opened his hand, and the little piece of soul shot out, desperate to rejoin with its true owner. Kagome breathed deeply, and she felt a little more complete than before. The sound of Inuyasha's voice caught her attention.
"There is… another reason you should stay." Inuyasha said. Kagome looked at him.
"And what would that be, Inuyasha?" She asked softly.
"Because… because I need you to." Inuyasha replied. "I love you, Kagome. I have for a long time. I've just been too much of a baka to say so." He lowered his eyes, waited for her to say something, anything. Without warning, Kagome's lips were pressed passionately against his. She nipped his bottom lip, parting his lips with the tip of her tongue. His own tongue slipped into her mouth, and they tasted each other for the first time. Pulling away after a long moment, Kagome looked at Inuyasha with a new light dancing in her eyes. Inuyasha smiled. He'd missed that, even if it had only been gone for a little while. Thank Kami his Kagome was back.
"Inuyasha… you're right. You are a total baka for not saying anything earlier. I've loved you… forever, it seems. Since I saw you pinned to that damn tree. But…" Here sadness trickled into her expressive eyes, "It's too late. I can't go back with you, Inuyasha. I gave all my shards to Sango and Miro-"
"What, these? I'm not that stupid, Kagome." Inuyasha smirked as he withdrew the small bottle in which Kagome kept her shards. Kagome threw her arms around Inuyasha, fresh tears in her eyes.
He looked at her, gently wiping the tears away with his thumbs. "So… you'll come back?"
A small smile tugged at the corners of Kagome's mouth. "Yeah. I'll come back. Come on, Inuyasha. Stay tonight, and we'll go back tomorrow, ok?"
"Aa. Sounds good." Inuyasha said. He picked her up and set her on the bed, swiftly placing a kiss on her forehead. He turned and walked toward the window when Kagome's voice rang out.
"I wasn't. I was just going to go sleep outside."
"No. I mean… don't go. Stay here with me… tonight."
*** Hahaha I am so bad. Well, if u guys like this, review and maybe I'll continue it. ***