~*Disclaimer: I… don't own Inuyasha. There. Are you happy now? *sob*
"…" - speech
'…' - thoughts
~*~*~ - change in scenery or timeFinal Decision
It was over.
Naraku had been defeated.
The Shikon no Tama was complete.
Kohaku had been laid to rest.
The kazaana in Miroku's hand was still there, but it would not be passed down to his heirs, nor would it swallow him.
It was really over.
But that meant there was no longer a reason for Kagome to stay. There was no longer a reason for the well to continue allowing her to pass through time. If she jumped into the future, she would have to stay there.
Saying goodbye was the hardest thing she ever had to do- even more difficult than her math tests in school. The little shard-hunting group had become her second family over the past three years. She had to go home, right? She belonged in the future- she was born there! But a suspicion told her that her home was here, in Sengoku Jidai.
What was that jii-chan had told her? Oh yes. Home was not a place, nor a dwelling. Home was the people. Home was where the heart was.
And right now, her heart was definitely here.
But could she leave her family?
Miroku had been understanding. He had given her a grope-free hug, and wishes for her well being.
Sango had cried once she discovered her best friend had to go home forever, but also knew the value of family, after all, she had lost hers.
Even Kirara had given her a friendly purr.
Shippou had been inconsolable. He had cried in her arms while sobbing about not wanting her to leave. That it was probably Inuyasha's fault. It was like losing his parents all over again.
He didn't know yet. He hadn't even been seen since dawn. It was now sunset. And Kagome was headed to the Goshinboku Tree to tell him goodbye. Although she had a suspicion he knew…
She walked through the now familiar forest named after the hanyou who had slept there for fifty years. Soon, there was a small clearing, and the god tree stood before her. Kagome walked up to it and put a hand on the wide trunk. So long ago had she freed him from here. Her hand traced an arrowhead shaped scar in the tree. This was where her adventures had begun. And now, this was where she would say goodbye.
She peered tentatively into the gently swaying branches above.
"Inuyasha?" Her voice was soft.
There was no reply except for the sigh of the winds through leaves above her.
She tried again, slightly louder. "Inuyasha?"
There was a louder rustle, and a reddish silver figure fell on to the ground in front of her. Inuyasha landed gracefully with a soft plop. He stared at the grass-covered ground.
"…Nani?" His voice was unusually quiet.
Kagome looked away, swallowing past the lump that had already grown in her throat at the sight of the hanyou.
"I-I…" She took in a deep breath. "I have to go home now…"
"When will you be coming back?"
His voice grew louder. "When will you be coming back?"
Tears threatened to over spill her eyes. "Never."
His head snapped up. And his voice caught. "N-never?" He disguised his sadness with anger. "Wh-what do you mean never, wench!?"
Kagome smiled a sad smile. She had always been able to tell what he was truly feeling.
"I mean I'm never coming back, Inuyasha."
He glared at her. "But the Shikon no Ta-" He was cut off.
"Here." She raised a shaking hand and grabbed one of his own clawed ones. Inuyasha felt a smooth, round object being pressed into his palm as her hands closed his. She looked into his eyes. "The Shikon no Tama is yours now. After all, I promised it to you."
Inuyasha shook his head. "But I don't need this. I don't need to become full youkai any more. I don't WANT that thing."
Kagome lowered her eyes to the ground below her again. Her voice was soft, but he could still hear her with his sensitive hearing. His ears twitched. "Then you can use it for something else. Maybe you could even bring-" She broke off. "M-maybe you could even bring K-kikyou back…" She looked up at him with a forced smile, although her eyes brimmed with tears. "You could live together, Inuyasha, imagine it. Just like you had promised each other before Naraku made you betray each other."
"…" He was speechless with shock. "Kagome…"
She averted her eyes and they fell upon the indigo coloured rosary Kaede had thrown on him three years ago. "And that thing… y-you don't need it any more. I'll take the rosary off as well…"
Her quaking hands rose to remove it when callused ones stopped her. She looked up into his face.
"No. Don't remove it. I… I want to remember you." His eyes were shadowed by his silver bangs.
So that was it.
He had accepted her decision. But Kagome wasn't supposed to be surprised; she had to go home, right? And nothing he said could have stopped her.
But why then, did she step back from him with tears rolling down her cheeks?
Why then, did she feel a breaking feeling inside of her as she slowly backed away from the only boy she had ever loved?
Did she hope he would hear her whispered words?
Did she hope that he would stop her and plead her to stay even as she sped towards the bone eaters well?
Did she hope he would suddenly appear in front of her and tell her of his undying feelings for her?
And did she hope he would be there to block the well even as she stood facing the hole that had brought her here…?
Inuyasha stood there with clenched hands. There were slight cuts on his hands from where his claws had pierced the skin. But he did nothing to stop the blood from falling from his hands to the ground below. The physical pain was much easier to deal with than the emotional suffering. Besides, they would be healed before long.
His entire frame shook slightly as a few glistening tears dropped from his face to wet the ground.
The wind blew softly past him, carrying with it her last whispered words… "I love you…"
His head snapped up, shock written on his face. She… loved him? His heart swelled before reality sunk in, and he realised that she was leaving. Eyes widening, Inuyasha raced off towards the bone eaters well, sprinting faster than he had ever before.
Kagome stared into the depths of the well. There hadn't been any recent youkai attacks on the village, so the dirt bottom was smooth. She had been standing there for a few minutes. Hoping somebody would come up with a reason for her to stay. But nobody had come.
He hadn't come.
She had been half prepared to stay. She would readily give up all the modern conveniences of her era just to be with her friends in this one.
All she had needed was a sign that they wanted that too.
All she had needed was a sign that Inuyasha wanted her to stay.
She climbed up onto the smooth wooden blocks that bordered the hole, and swung her legs over the edge. Her salty tears continued to flow down her cheeks.
So this would be her final time in the past. She would continue her life in her world, like nothing had happened. She would go to school and deal with the whispers regarding her absences. She would go to Wacdonalds and joke with her friends. She would laugh and smile even if she had no reason to. She would be a normal girl again. Even if she didn't want it anymore.
But didn't fall.
A clawed hand prevented that.
A clawed hand gripping her upper arm almost painfully.
Inuyasha pulled her up and held Kagome tightly against him, inhaling her addictive scent of the wild flowers of her shampoo and something that was strictly Kagome.
Kagome was surprised. "I- inuyasha?"
"Don't go. St-stay with me- with us! Damnit, woman, can't you see we need you!?" His voice softened. "Can't you see I need you?"
Kagome was immensely relieved, but there was still that ever present shadow of doubt on the edge of her mind. "But Kikyou…"
He tightened his hold. "Kikyou's dead."
She rolled her eyes. "Well, yes she's technically dead, but she's still walking around…"
"No. She's dead. Gone. She's moved on."
Kagome pulled back slightly to look into his amber eyes- were those tear tracks on his face? She arched an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?"
"This morning. She came, and tried to take me down to hell. But I couldn't leave. Maybe in the past, I would've, but not now. I couldn't. I- I had no reason to. I had defeated Naraku for her. The old Kikyou would have accepted that. That- that… clay pot didn't. SHE was the copy, not you. So…" He broke off.
Kagome lay her head against his chest. "…So?"
He smiled slightly at her. "So I laid her to rest. Kikyou has moved on. And I'm not going to let you leave too. You, are going to stay here. With Me. Forever"
Kagome was shocked to say the least.
"Did you just…" She got over it, and hid a smile. She used a haughty voice. "And who says you're one to control me? Maybe I won't go through the well, but I'll bet Kouga-kun will be really happy once I tell him I'll be his ma…"
Kagome didn't get a chance to finish. She was cut off by a pair of lips covering her own.
'My first kiss-!'
They broke apart.
He smirked at her.
"That kiss was pretty mutual. I'd say you won't be showing up around that wolf shit for a while." He encircled her in an embrace. "Let the wolf shit come. You're *MY* woman now."
A slightly dark expression over came Kagome's face.
"Inuyasha…" She took a few steps away from him. "Sit." He did. " I'm nobody's woman. I didn't wait all this time for you just to be called 'your woman.' I'll be in the village with Sango-chan if you need me."
Inuyasha was left in a pile of dust as Kagome decided to go back and tell her friends the news. Even as she walked towards the village, Kagome was smiling. Her home was in the past now, with her friends and Inuyasha.
He had given her that little push.
Her family in the future would understand.
After all, home was where the heart was.
And her heart would always remain in the past.
[So, there's a possible ending for Inuyasha… sorta…]