When He Was Mine
Disclaimer: InuYasha & Co. © Rumiko Takahashi
Author Note: Finally the chapter you all have been waiting... Sadly all things come to an end, and now is WHWM's turn. I want to thank you all for the incredible amount of reviews (I never thought I'd get that much), and the tons of emails. Thanks with all my heart.
I also want to give special thanks to all those readers that were with from the beginning, giving me all your love and support; so many thanks for the nominations to the 'InuYasha Fanguild 1st Quarter 2004 Awards (Fatalfury, Numisma, Emme-chan), and especially to my girls at Woo Hoo Haven: Mom, Khell, Del and Janet:. You rock, girls!
My mind and my hands won't cease of working and writing, sharing my stories with you. Meanwhile keep an eye on IB because the good thing's coming, and also a couple of new projects of which I'll fill you in later on.
Time has passed, five years of my life and today I'm going home for the very first time... home to Japan. Does time heal all wounds? I'm not sure, but I think you have to be able to just go on in order to survive. That's just human nature, isn't it? So that's what I did, I just let myself go on, learned to live with the decision I'd made and made the best of it. What you will read now will not go into detail about that part of my life, it's just to let you know that I did survive being without my dear, sweet InuYasha... I did OK.
I did go back to Florida after all; in fact, I went to see Mr. Himura the very next day and asked how soon I'd be able to leave. He'd told me as soon as I wanted since the quarter was over for my studies there in Japan. I'd gone to my mom and dad to let them know and had stayed to pack away my things. The only thing left for me was to see to leaving my apartment and this I did by the end of that week.
I didn't see Kikyo. I had no need to. Just seeing the look in my mom's face when I'd told her I was leaving had been enough for me to know I'd made the right choice. My dad had been quite proud of me though and we'd stayed up half the night talking about my decision. He'd even asked me about InuYasha and his reaction but I'd told him I couldn't talk about InuYasha then. I wondered if I'd ever be able to.
The pain was fresh and raw, my skin even ached for him. It was torture to lie in my bed at night and not have him with me... Twice I'd picked up the phone to call him, just to let him know that I cared, to see how he was doing. But I'd laid the receiver down both times and went immediately to my bedroom, grabbed my trainers and went out for a mind-clearing run.
I still wasn't sure my decision to leave him was for the best. I still had moments of clear, stark terror when I felt that letting InuYasha go had been the worst mistake of my life. What if I never found another love like him? How could I ever love anybody else when my heart and soul seemed to belonged to InuYasha?
So I left Japan once again and I started my life over, as it were, in Florida. I was given a nice apartment in student housing that had been included into the scholarship I'd received. I was to have two weeks before classes resumed from the holiday break and then I'd be so busy I wouldn't have time to let InuYasha enter my brain. At least that's what I told myself.
I found a job working part-time at a record store there; maybe it was my subconscious at work wanting me to keep up with Wild Silver no matter what. I'd nearly dropped the Wild Silver CD that a boy was purchasing as I rang it up one day seeing InuYasha's face on the cover.
The years flowed. I never once went home in those five years because going back would've meant running into InuYasha or one of the other guys if they were about home. My family... well, I only talked to them if I called first, even though my dad sent regular checks to me to help me out.
I'd dated. I'd had one or two lovers since InuYasha and I had split, but nobody came close to touching my life like InuYasha. Maybe it was because every man I met got compared to InuYasha and was found severely lacking. I was worried about myself. Worried that I was ruining my life, that I'd be happier without a lover or husband... that in my mindset - not having InuYasha meant not ever having anyone. But I couldn't help it and I didn't know if I even wanted to.
I never tried to call him, nor he me. I think it was better that way, calling would've been painful. It was best just to let it go and get on with our lives. Wild Silver didn't come to America during that time but I did keep up with them and with InuYasha through the internet, I couldn't seem to help myself. I saw and read stories of him with other girls... beautiful girls. I even joined a few chat lists anonymously to catch all the gossip, never sure if it was gossip or the truth when rumors flared about him. I heard more than one story about his terrible temper exploding, about his drinking a bit more than he should've... and I hoped it was just InuYasha being InuYasha and not InuYasha hurting. I saw where he had been involved pretty steady with an actress he met on their first tour...and I felt a hard knot form in my belly. He had been mine, how could he have forgotten so easily?
At the end of five years time I had finished my schooling, graduated in the top 5% of the class, gotten my Doctorate degree and was ready to go back to Japan... to go back home, to start my life over once again. Would it never stop? Would I never be settled and at peace? I found peace in my work, though I loved children and I loved teaching them. I supposed I could always find solace in that.
A new school had just opened in the small town where I had lived my whole life, an exclusive private school, and I'd gotten first choice of the positions there. My family knew I was on my way back home, though I told them not to worry about picking me up at the airport. I kind of wanted to make my own way back on my own time.
I got to the airport in Miami ahead of schedule, checking my bags in and taking a seat to await the announcement of my flight. It wasn't long before I saw the flight had been delayed for another two hours and with a sigh, I got up and went for the bathroom. I checked myself in the mirror before I left the bathroom. I'd chosen a wine colored straight skirt that hit just at my knee with a white silk blouse and a wine colored jacket. Wine pumps and sheer hose completed my outfit. My hair, I had pulled up and twisted into some sort of an updo and gold earrings decorated my lobes. Satisfied that I looked OK and not too rumpled I went in search of a snack. The flight was a long one, ten hours or more and I wasn't a big fan of airline food.
Paying for my soft drink and a bag of chips, I walked over by a newsstand and idly flipped through magazines. The guy that ran the stand came over to chat me up and being bored and not wanting to hurt his feelings I talked to him and laughed, then I left and walked back to the waiting area and looked at my watch, seeing that I still had over an hour to go.
I wasn't one to sit still and I hadn't brought myself a book or a magazine. I didn't want to read. My stomach was churning anyway and I didn't know why except that maybe I just wasn't looking forward to going home at all. I got up with a sigh and decided to take a walk, never realizing that my life would drastically change within the next few hours.
I saw her. Maybe I felt her before I actually saw her. I don't remember really, but everything in me told me that Kagome was there... my Kagome... in that same airport... somehow, someway. I looked up from the magazine I had been flipping through, saw the woman approach and felt my heart drop to my feet. It WAS her... But I couldn't move. I slipped back behind a rack of newspapers to watch her, unobserved, just to be able to see her was a miracle in itself. What Gods had smiled on me that day?
She was strolling along, her face serious, thoughtful, alternating between eating from a bag of chips and drinking her soda. She stopped and picked up a magazine, giving me a chance to stare at her... a chance to drink her in...
She was even more lovely than I'd remembered. I'd worn smooth the photograph we'd had made in Hawaii by the little island boy. I'd kept it with me, stuffed into a pocket or my wallet or a suitcase, carrying it everywhere. I'd missed her, it hurt so bad that I'd never thought I'd get over it. The guys had tried to help, telling me I should call her, talk it out... that we could handle it long distance. But I didn't think I could do it. I needed her with me all the way or not at all. My whole being had been tied up in her and it took over a year and a half before I would even consider going out with another girl. I'd had lovers... several, even a half attempt at a serious relationship with an actress I met in one of our tours. But nothing ever seemed to work out, it just didn't feel right. Every girl paled in comparison to my Kagome. I knew I was fighting a losing battle, it even got to the point that the guys were fixing me up on dates, they were worried. Well, so was I. Was I going to be unhappy forever? Would every girl suffer in comparison to Kagome? Why couldn't I go on? It had been five fucking years, for God sakes; high time to get on with my life and in ways I suppose I had... but in the important ways I hadn't.
I edged around the corner of the newspaper rack and had to hold myself back from just running to her and pulling her into my arms. I had only caught a side view of her but it was enough to fair take my breath away. She was dressed a bit fancy for her, at least more fancy than what I'd ever seen her, and her lovely hair was pulled into a loose upsweep. She bent her head to look more closely at something in the magazine and I smiled. My arms ached to hold her but my mouth was as dry as sand. I wondered what the chances were that she was on the same plane as myself... Surely she had to be, didn't she?
I knew she hadn't gone back home in all the time we'd been apart. I'd kept tabs on her very closely. I just never let her know it. I supposed she was finished with her schooling now and was returning home to begin teaching there. She looked absolutely fit! I watched her as the proprietor of the magazine stand walked up to her with a smile. It hadn't gone unnoticed by me that he had kept his eye on her the entire time she'd been standing there, even before, and I felt my gut twist. She looked up as he approached and smiled that smile of hers and I nearly moaned. I knew she'd probably had lovers; there was no way in hell she'd stayed celibate... even for me, but how the thought made me sick. I wanted to rip apart any man that had lain with her, kissed her, held her, and most especially fucked her. I didn't like to even say 'make love' to her because only she and I had been capable of that... and that was only us together. I refused to believe she could ever make love with anyone ever again.
She smiled and chatted with the magazine man for a short while. I could hear her laughter and it washed over me, taking my breath away. She put the magazine away and walked off with a little wave and a smile to him, and I felt something akin to fury run through my body. I only wanted her to turn and see me but she walked on at a slow pace, and then went to sit back down in the waiting area, and that's when I knew she was going to be on the same plane as myself. I stayed far back from where she was and when I saw her look at her wrist watch and sigh then get up, I followed her, just because I couldn't stand to have her out of my sights now. I was thrilled that the flight would be a long one. I just didn't know where she would be sitting on the plane, would it be close to me? or somewhere different? It wouldn't do me much good if she wasn't even in the same section.
I felt high, felt like I was soaring. My heart was pounding furiously against my ribs as I watched her walk. I couldn't help but let my eyes wander down her body; she was walking with a gentle, rolling sway to her hips and her legs... oh, how I remembered them wrapped around me. I couldn't HELP it. I'd had dreams of her nearly every fucking night for five whole years, waking in a state of frustration because my body wanted what wasn't mine to have anymore. And more than once I'd awakened with her name on my lips and tears running down my face. I'd even embarrassed myself more times than I cared to remember with more than one woman at the most inappropriate time by calling out Kagome's name... Needless to say, a second chance was never given, not that I cared.
She walked back toward the lobby now and I followed, looking at my watch and then at the boarding screen. The flight was nearly ready to board. I took a deep breath and watched as she looked up at the board too, then stood and grabbed her carry-on, walking over to hand over her ticket. I let several people get in front of me in line, to put a safe distance between myself and her. I didn't want to chance her turning around and seeing me there. I'd already decided I'd make my move once we got on the plane. I just needed to find out where she was going to be seated.
I handed over my ticket and craned my neck to keep my eyes on her. She was moving forward still, not having sat down and I looked down at my ticket once more to make sure where my seat would be. Looking back up, I saw she wasn't there in my line of vision any longer and my heart stopped. But I knew she HAD to be on the plane, so it was only a momentary scare. I looked carefully from side to side and then she stood, placing her bag in the overhead compartment. I saw that a young guy about our age was seated next to her, she had the window seat and my stomach knotted again. He had his eye on her bum as she reached and stretched over her head. I could've knocked his block off then and there. He stood then and I saw him lean forward, probably asking if he could help her and she smiled back at him and allowed him to lean against her, putting the bag up safely. His hand had strayed to her lower back as he had leaned over her and I watched in frustration as it stayed put, along with her beautiful smile.
I had no choice but to move forward, my seat was rows and rows ahead and I wasn't going to turn around just yet and allow her to see me. I had to find someway to get the guy to trade seats with me. The only thing I could figure was that he'd love a first class seat as opposed to the coach seat he was now occupying. I sank down into my seat and dug in my backpack for a pen and a piece of paper. Quickly, I scribbled out a note to the guy and folding it, stopped the flight attendant as she passed by. I gave her my most charming smile... Don't ever let it be said that InuYasha Hara didn't know how to turn on the charm! And she smiled back and leaned forward. "Miss, would you mind very much handing this note to the gentleman in section C back there, sitting with the lady in the wine colored suit? And please be a love and don't let them know where the note came from, would you?", I asked. I didn't have much time and I was frantic to get next to Kagome before the flight started. I was lucky, the flight attendant was young and flirty and she smiled back at me, ready and willing to help. She took the note from me and walked it back to where Kagome sat. It was very hard for me not to turn around to look. I had to will myself to sit tight and wait. I was sure if there was a message for me, the flight attendant would carry it back.
The engines came to life and still I sat there waiting, almost ready to turn around when I felt a tap on my shoulder. "You send this over?", the guy who'd been sizing up my Kagome asked. I looked up and smiled. "Yes, it was me. Do you mind?", I asked. "Of course not and I didn't mention anything to the lady so I hope you're not trying to stalk her or something", he said with a frown. "No. Ah, God. No. I know her but haven't seen her in awhile. I wanted to surprise her.", I said. "Yeah, I notice you two sound alike when you talk... OK, so you better get a move on, seatbelt signs are already on. Hey! and thanks for the first class seat! She must really be something!", he said with a wink. I smiled and grabbed my backpack then headed back toward Kagome, my head down and turned slightly away, to the side.
The pilot came on then and I saw the flight attendant coming toward me, shooing me into the empty seat next to Kagome just in time. I sank down, my head turned away and grabbed my seatbelt, then turned quickly toward her and saw that she was looking down as well. She'd taken off her jacket and the white silk blouse she wore allowed me enough of a peek down between her breasts to see the faint edges of lace that cupped her. I felt my groin tighten and cursed myself. "Kagome?", I said softly and saw her body stiffen.
She looked up at me then, and her face... it was almost as if layers were peeled away one by one. Surprise, fear, anger, doubt, and happiness crossed over her gorgeous features so quickly that it took ME by surprise. "InuYasha?", she said softly and I smiled and nodded. "But... how?", she asked and I saw the sparkle of tears in the corners of her eyes. "I saw you at the airport. I just wasn't sure what to say and I reckoned you'd be on this flight... or at least I hoped so... or I was gonna have to change MY flight...", I explained. "You SAW me in the AIRPORT?', she asked and her eyes went wide. "You were WATCHING me?", she asked and her voice went higher. She started to fumble with her seatbelt and was trying to get up at the same time. "Kagome, you can't go anywhere! The plane is just starting to go...", I said. My heart twisted for her, she seemed about to lose it. I'd shocked her quite a good one!
"Let me GO, InuYasha! NOW!", she shrieked and I put a finger to her lips, shushing her. The flight attendant came forward quickly and looked at the two of us worriedly. "Is everything OK here?", she asked and I nodded. Kagome just sat there. "Ma'am, is everything OK?", she asked again. My hand had gripped Kagome's and I tightened it just a bit, making her jump. She looked at me, her beautiful eyes wide, the two little tears now rolling down her face slowly. "It's OK, Kagome...", I said softly and rubbed my thumb against her hand. "I... yes, it's ok...", she finally said and the flight attendant stood there for a few seconds longer and then walked to the back of the plane.
Kagome sank back into the seat, her eyes closed but she didn't pull her hand away and I felt that a good sign. I kept quiet until we were well on our way, not sure where to start with her, and more than a little afraid to look her way. But I felt her eyes on me and I turned to look.
"I'm going home... finally...", she said softly and I smiled. "Home, yeah. Me too. I've been on holiday for a few weeks here in Miami.", I said. "Oh.", she answered and turned to look out the window. Her hand was still warm and small in mine and I held tightly to it.
"You did well in school then, got finished?", I asked her and she nodded, keeping her eyes on the clouds outside the window. I took a deep breath, blowing it out. She turned to look at me then back to the window. "Kagome, look I don't think it should be this hard.", I said. She turned away from the window then and completely toward me. "Oh, you don't...", she said softly, still leaving her hand in place inside my own. "No, I don't. For Godsakes, we were TOGETHER once.", I said, exasperated. "I know that. You don't think I KNOW that!", she said and her eyes flashed fire at me.
"Then just TALK to me.", I said. "OK, I'll talk. Let's see... hmmm... What model are you involved with now, InuYasha? What actress? How many this week?", she asked and immediately blushed. "You knew? You heard? how?", I asked her, more than a little surprised. "I just know and I'm so happy you got on with your life... truly I am, InuYasha.", she said a bit snappish and I had to fight not to smile. SHE WAS JEALOUS!
"Oh, it was hard, Kagome... very hard, but somehow I managed.", I said. "Yeah, I just bet you managed. I can plainly SEE you managed!", she said. "I had no choice, Kagome. It was either get on with my life or go mad!", I said. She must have expected I'd never be with anyone else, would always be true to her no matter if we had broken up. And it hadn't even crossed my mind that I had expected probably the same thing out of her until then.
"InuYasha, this is crazy.", she mumbled and I watched as she closed her eyes and lowered her head. "No, it's right, Kagome. Don't you see? What were the chances of us getting on the same flight at the same time to Japan? See? It's fate.", I tried to explain to her. "But it's unreal. I can't... I need to get my head wrapped around it.", she said softly. She still hadn't looked up at me...
I let go of her hand then and she moved it back to her lap. Something caught the light as she moved her hand and I gasped aloud, causing her to look up at me. "InuYasha? What is it?", she asked, her eyes wide. Could it be? Would she have kept it on for five years even if we were not together? I couldn't believe me eyes. She suddenly realized where my eyes were and looked down then back up with a smile.
"You never took it off, did you?", I asked, stupidly. I could feel the tears start at the back of my throat and I tried hard to cover it up. She shook her head and reached for my own wrist, sliding her fingers up into my shirt cuff and searching, her eyes clouded... and then she touched it and brought it back down around my wrist to rest against my hand. I'd never taken mine off either, not once. "You either?", she whispered.
"No, never. I told you I never would.", I said. She pulled my hand forward and pressed my palm against her warm cheek then turned toward it and placed a kiss there. Closing her eyes now, she let her mouth travel up a bit more and her lips met with the inside of my wrist, pressed there and then released. I felt the tears start now and they spilled out, down my cheeks and onto my hands. And she looked up, her eyes meeting mine.
"I never loved anyone else, InuYasha... only you.", she said. I reached for her hand then, pulling it toward me, sliding my fingers around to encircle her tiny wrist, feeling the warmth of the bracelet there. "It's really there, isn't it?", I said. "Yes, InuYasha, it is... every bit of it.", she said and I suddenly realized what she meant. She wasn't just talking about the bracelet, he was talking about everything... everything we'd ever had.
"I never loved anyone else myself, Kagome. I just couldn't. I suppose it was you or nobody...", I whispered as she reached up and wiped the tears off my face. "InuYasha, dare I say it?", she asked and leaned forward just a bit toward me in her seat. "Say it, Kagome... please…", I smiled through my tears. "I love you. I always have and I always will. We'll find our way again, won't we?", she said and then I knew... I knew it would be alright...
She took my hand once more and turned it palm up, reaching her fingers around my wrist and pulling on the bracelet until the band was facing her now. She turned the other side toward her and ran a finger over the word she had put there for me over five years before. A word I never took for granted, a word I'd hung onto for a long, lonely five years without her and she looked up at me then and smiled.
"Mine.", she whispered and I took her hand back to me, turned the bracelet on her wrist around and smiled at her, then back down at the bracelet and back up to her. "Forever...", I answered back...