Disclaimer:  I do not hold the rights to any characters or storyline of Inuyasha used below.  Nor do I own the main idea used below.  Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi, and the main idea belongs to Druihd.  I can only hope neither of them lynch me for writing this.

— Romance / Angst —

Summary:  The last stolen moments to be forever held in their hearts.

Rating:  PG-13.

Things to know before reading:  Bittersweet ending.  VERY Short.  Completely and totally based off of Druihd's depiction of it, so I did not come up with this idea.  (Yep, emphasizing it.) – This was intended as a gift for Druihd, and as such will not have any follow-ups, spoofs, alternate endings or whatnot else that I could possibly think up.

Pairing(s):  [Inuyasha x Kagome]

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Last Memory

A Kagome & Inuyasha Ending

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She ran blindly through the trees, heedless to the lithe branches snapping at her face and arms, only one thought running through her mind, deafening her to the desperate sounds of pursuit.  I need to get away.  I can't let him see me like this.  Twisting pain curled in her abdomen, shortening her breath and reducing her to gasping for air.  Tears blurred her vision, stinging her eyes and running heated trails over her cheeks.  It was happening again, and she knew that this time… This time, I can't fight it.  This time will be the last time.  And I can't even say goodbye…

Kagome stumbled into a clearing and fell to her knees, shaking with the force of her wretched sorrow.

It hurts… It hurts so much.  Why?  I don't want this to happen!  Aren't we all supposed to be happy?  After everything we've done, can't we choose our own destinies?  Our own happiness?  What was the point of all this if I can't stay?  Why was I brought here?  She slammed her palm against the ground, hardly wincing at the stinging stab of contact.  I don't want this!

Something warm touched her shoulder, causing her to flinch.  As anger had lent her a buffer against pain, sorrow refused to allow her to accept comfort.  "Go… away… Inuyasha…"  She grit out each word, determined to be alone.  It would hurt them all too much to watch her fade from their lives, forever separate from the ones she had come to view as second family.  Her beloved friends… and him.

Him.  Him, who was with her now, who she wanted desperately to stay, yet couldn't bear to face.  "Please…" she whispered brokenly, uncertain now as to what she was pleading for.  He grasped her shoulder and pulled her sharply upright.

"What the hell is going on?" he snapped angrily.  Even in his rough handling, he held her with a certain gentleness that only caused her tears to fall faster.  She cast her gaze to the side, unwilling to look him in the eye.

"Nothing… I need to be alone."  I want you to stay.

"Kagome," he warned, a faint growl rumbling as he spoke her name.  She bit her lip hard, standing stoically even as blood welled against her tongue.  "The fuck is wrong with you?  Sango said you ran out in the middle of your conversation!"  He dropped her arm as she tugged away from him half-heartedly, then crossed his own across his chest.  "I thought you'd be happy, with Naraku gone!"

I was! she cried out, in the confines of her mind.  But all that came from her lips was, "Go away, Inuyasha."  Her words were dull and flat as she raised her gaze to the top of his head, causing him to take a step back.  His eye twitched slightly; a sign of agitation that always had her wanting to soothe him.  I can't look at his face.  I'll break down if I do…

"Tell me what's going on!" he demanded again, stiffening slightly.  Without looking, she knew hurt was beginning to pool in those violet eyes.  Soon he would give in to his pride and walk away, unwilling to handle her rejection of his presence.  He always did.  He was immature that way… but she loved him.

God, how I love him.  Her fingers dug into her palms, and she concentrated on the stinging sensation as her flesh broke against the pressure of her nails.  I love him, and I'm going to hurt him.  But it would hurt more if he didn't go.  She didn't answer his question, continuing to stare above his head.  His ears began to twitch more violently.  Shame twisted her heart, and she forced her eyes wider, refusing to let more tears fall.  But they did.

Will it really hurt him more than when he doesn't get to say goodbye? a little voice in her head taunted.

Yes, she insisted, though doubt began to creep through her.  Inuyasha took the slightest shuffle back—any minute now, and he would leave.

And she wouldn't see him again.

Wouldn't ever be able to tell him how much she loved him.

Wouldn't ever be angry when he did or said something stupid, or when he brutalized poor Shippou.

She wouldn't hear his laughter.  She wouldn't see his pain.  She wouldn't…

"Wait!"

Her voice cracked in the sudden silence.  She'd half-shouted the word, startling the birds from their songs—a half-second later they were in the air, avoiding some presumed menace.  The sound of flapping wings had her eyes closing tightly.  They're leaving.  Just like I was going to…

"Well?" he snapped impatiently.  She opened her eyes slowly, staring into his amethyst gaze.

Deep, dark, filled with unspoken anguish and worlds of hurt.  Lifetimes of hurt.  Full of life and having shared so many sights with her own—sometimes ones she wished she could forever erase from her mind.  But still, there were the good ones.  The day he'd clasped his hand with hers as they walked away from the well, after she'd made the decision to stay with him—the time she'd fallen ill and he'd recreated the medicine his mother had made for him as a child—that evening they'd walked beneath the stars, after she'd been stuck in that cave with Kikyou.

She couldn't leave yet.  Not until she'd told him.

"Inuyasha…" she took a single step forward.  Only one.  Then, suddenly, bolted into his arms, clinging to his shoulders as she leaned up to brush her lips tentatively across his.  Warmth flowed through her veins as she gave him that gentle kiss, even as he stiffened at the contact.  For a moment.  Just for that half second, before he lifted his hand to hold hers against him, before he rested his hand somewhat awkwardly against her waist and returned the kiss.

She could smell crushed grass all over him—he'd been sitting on the hill again today.  Their noses brushed awkwardly, and they were still staring into each others eyes.  Very slowly, that staring contact was broken as their eyelids lowered and they savored the moment.

I love you, she pledged, still unable to say the words aloud.  But he seemed to hear, for he pulled her a little closer, tightening his hold as though he realized exactly what it was that she had been trying to hide from him.

She couldn't stay with him any longer—the connection between the two worlds was fading.  And it would take her away once again.  This time, she wouldn't be able to come back.

Tell everyone goodbye for me… take care of Shippou.  He'll be so sad when I'm gone.  He needs a father—you would be a good one for him.  Don't lose touch with Kaede.  And if, somewhere, Kikyou is still out there… be happy with her.  You have a bad history, but you can work it out.  Deep down, she's a good person.  I should know…

She could feel it, tugging at her, phantom fingers combing through her entire body.  She sensed his eyes snap open in surprise, even as she felt his form waver beneath her grip.  She kept her eyes closed, too cowardly to see what she knew was happening.  You're human now, and I know you will be frustrated.  But you're still strong.  Never think you're weak!  All that matters is your heart.  And if you fight, fight with your entire soul.  That will give you strength beyond anything you ever had before.

It was still pulling at her, tugging her away from him.  Finally, unwilling to leave without one last look at his face—his beautiful, endearing face—she opened her eyes, seeing his own pool with tears he refused to shed.

I love you, she thought again, clinging tighter to his now fading form.  In her ears, she could hear the distant sound of traffic and machinery.  Her nose twitched as smog began to invade the once-clean air.  But her gaze—her gaze was still locked onto one person.  One face.  And she refused to let anything else invade.

For a moment, she thought she could hear him whisper, "I love you too, Ka-go-me."

And he was gone.

All of it was gone.

She was in Tokyo…

Higurashi Kagome fell to her knees, feeling her heart pound.  Feeling it break.  Inuyasha…

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CJ's Blurb:  Best I could do.  I hope I conveyed the emotions well enough to tug at your heartstrings at least a little… if it really sucks, I blame it on my writer's block… ;_;

Druihd's art can be found at: druihd.staze.org