Until You Were Gone

Kagome sat looking out at a beautiful sunset, but she didn't see the sunset. She saw one scene. One moment was burned into her mind. That moment Inuyasha's clawed hand made contact with her face.

He had made her heart falter again. It wasn't just a normal thing this time, it was something that really hurt, what he said. The first part had just made her mad. But what he had said after, that had broken her heart. "The only reason I hang around with you, is because it's the only way I can get the jewel and then Kikyo if I get lucky."

What had possessed him to say it may have been way more complicated then Kagome might have thought, but that didn't give him the right to say it. Fighting to keep her calm fa├žade without breaking down in front of him, her mind raced. The only thing she could think to do was insult him right back. "At least I'm not some low-life half-breed that has to have a jewel to become a demon and is probably going to go to hell even if he didn't have someone to drag him there." She threw at him. His only reaction was to slap her across the cheek. Small drops of blood flew like herons, doomed to crash.

Kagome continued to stare out at the setting sun with a void expression on her face. She didn't cry. She was empty. The shards of her heart had dissolved into her blood and all that was left was an empty void. Some people say the greatest pain doesn't bring tears, and Kagome's inner mind knew that this was what they were talking about.

'I just thought he cared a little...' She thought futilely. 'And to think my heart could choose a man like him.'

She reached up to touch her cheek where he struck her. 'Why would he do that to me? Why? He's never gone this far before.'

She didn't know what to do with her lifeless body, so she just let herself sprawl onto the ground, unmoving. The position would have been uncomfortable, had she cared.

"You were my light...... You were the world..... I didn't realize how much you were to me until you were gone." Kagome whispered into the breeze and fell into a heavy sleep.

After he slapped her, Kagome just walked off. She didn't cry, she didn't yell, she didn't say or do anything. She just turned slowly away and walked down the forest path until she reached her current location and she hadn't moved for hours. She didn't even try making it as far as the well. 'Why bother?' she had mused. 'I'm going to die at some point anyway.'

When Kagome woke up, the sky was dark and she was wet with dew. She raised herself from the ground and looked around dully. She didn't see the distant form of a hanyou watching her from a nearby tree. After sitting up, she just clutched her knees and sat there like that for what seemed like hours. On the tree, Inuyasha's mind was going crazy.

'She insulted me! I did the right thing!' He told himself. 'But I did insult her first.... How could that have hurt her so much! I suppose it was a bit harsh.....' He turned around to punch the tree in frustration but stopped with his fist inches from it and sighed.

'Damn wench! She's too sensitive!' But even up in that three watching her sit, clutching her knees, he knew that wasn't true. He knew that he had broken her this time. 'I better go apologize....' He jumped down and walked over to the still form.

"Kagome....." Inuyasha said from behind her. She did nothing to acknowledge his presence. "Kagome." He said again, and again no reaction.

"Kagome! Are you listening to me!?" he yelled and immediately regretted it. Kagome got up silently, still not giving any signs she knew he was there, and walked off. Her eyes were completely blank and her face was emotionless as she headed into the forest once again.

"Kagome, I came to tell you I'm sorry!" Inuyasha called, dashing after her. "I'm sorry for what I said, ok!"

Kagome stopped. She stood there with her back to him for a moment before turning around. She looked at him with blank eyes for a moment before speaking.

"Why?" She asked.

"Huh.... Oh, well it was pretty mean what I said...." Inuyasha scratched the back of his head thoughtfully.

"I see." Kagome said monotonously and turned to walk off once again.

"Nani? Aren't you going to forgive me now?" Inuyasha called desperately after her. She stopped again, and spoke without turning around.

"For what? For telling the truth?" Kagome said. "You did nothing wrong, except maybe not giving me the peace and quiet I deserve. Now please, go away, I don't want to see you."

He stopped dead in his tracks . Her words hurt. Dammit, why did they hurt so much!?

"Kagome, you could at least give me a chance to explain!" He yelled after her.

She kept walking so he followed her once again. "Go away! I told you I wanted some piece and quiet!" She whispered after noticing he was following her again. She looked at him again and Inuyasha almost jumped back with surprise when he saw something in her eyes he didn't expect to see there. 'Hatred.'

"Kagome...." Inuyasha's now gentle voice pleaded with her. "Kagome just give me a moment to explain."

"Why? There's nothing to explain! You spoke the truth, and one should not have to explain the truth!" Kagome spat.

"Sometimes I get..... well sometimes I don't think about my words, sometimes I just say them as a defense mechanism for myself..... ever since my mom died I have not really let anyone in my heart...."

"You seemed to let Kikyo right in." Kagome interrupted.

"Well..... that was different..... it was....." Inuyasha trailed off.

"Not only did you win this battle, Inuyasha, but you won this whole damn war. Go, go to hell with Kikyo and see if I'm there to rescue you this time. I won't be, Inuyasha, You were never there for me, and so why should I be there for you? Why should I be there for you if all you do for me is cause me pain?" Kagome spat, she tore the jewel shards off of her neck and threw them in his face. "I'm going, and if Kikyo rejects you, don't come crying to me, because I gave you your chance. Maybe if she rejects you, it'll help you learn how you made me feel. Sayonara." Kagome turned and sprinted the remaining distance to the well, jumping over the side. Inuyasha was too dumbfounded to do anything until it was too late.

"Sayonara..... Aishiteru" Inuyasha whispered into the gently blowing breeze. It was too late though, Kagome was already long gone. Inuyasha picked the large jewel piece off the ground and turned slowly away.

"Inuyasha? Daijoubu?" Sango asked worriedly as her and Miroku shared a concerned glance.

"Hai." Inuyasha's hollow voice echoed throughout the room, sending tiny waves across his untouched bowl of ramen.

"Where's Kagome?" Miroku asked carefully.

"Her world." He answered, voice monotonous and low.

"Inuyasha, something's wrong, and you need to tell us." Sango demanded.

"Yeah, we're worried about you." Shippo piped up, innocently unaware of the real situation.

Inuyasha got up and walked to the door where he spoke. "She left. Forever." Then he was out of the door and into the night before anyone could say anything.

"Nani, she's gone? This had better not be his fault! But I know it is!" Sango fumed, trying to hold back tears of sadness. "Kagome-chan....." Her tears breached the dam and came cascading down her cheeks.

Shippo was just sitting quietly, his eyes wide with shock. "Ka..... Ka..... Kagome-okachan....." He whispered. "This is Inuyasha's fault. He made Kagome leave forever. He will pay."

"Shippo-chan..... don't you think that's a little harsh?" Miroku asked.

"He stole the only person I could call a mother, he deserves the same fate as the thunder brothers!" Shippo cried.

Meanwhile, Inuyasha sat in the Goshimboku, pondering.

'She's gone.' The words hit him like ice. 'She's gone..... she had to leave for me to realize I love her. Until you were gone, Kagome, I didn't realize how much I love you. I love you more then I have ever loved anything or anyone before. Now you're gone, and it's my fault.'

"You should go get her." Miroku's voice echoed up into the branches of the Goshimboku, startling Inuyasha.

"She's the one that left, I am NOT going to get her." Inuyasha snapped.

"I believe Kagome was hoping you would come after her when she jumped into that well." Miroku supplied. "I believe she loves you very much, Inuyasha." Miroku let his words sink in for a few moments before heading back to the hunt.

Just as Miroku had guessed, Kagome wished with all of her might to see that red hakama, haori and silver hair dashing towards her. Her wish was not granted though, and as the days went by, her hope slipped away like the grains of sand in an hourglass.

Sitting in History class one day, Kagome couldn't manage to quell that deep dread. Something inside of her was so terribly anxious about something that it made her feel helpless. She was nearly failing all of her classes except math, which she was actually failing. Perhaps that was the cause of the feeling? The feeling that no matter what she did, she was a failure in life.

'Luck's just not on your side this year.' Her mother had said soothingly. Kagome didn't buy it. Luck hadn't really been on her side her whole life, but maybe it wasn't luck.

'Am I just wasting oxygen?' she thought to herself. 'Am I really not meant to exist at all?'

Her History teacher had stopped talking, so Kagome looked up to find the whole class staring at her, including the teacher. She blushed deeply and apologized to the class.

"Kagome, is everything OK?" Yuka whispered to her from behind as the teacher continued her lecture.

"Hai hai...." Kagome waved her off, trying to make herself believe that there wasn't anything wrong at the same time.

"You're looking really skinny lately, are you sure you're okay?" Ayumi whispered from the other side of her.

Kagome looked down at her wrist. Stick. Barely nothing holding her together. She was disgusted as she gazed at her body for the first time since she left the feudal era. Not only was she extremely skinny, but her clothes were wrinkled and ugly.

"We're worried about you." Ayumi fussed.

"Yo, woman, would you stop staring off into your own little world, it's disturbing me." A rude voice imposed on the conversation. Kagome looked up to a totally new face. He was a boy about her age with spiked black hair and an annoyed gleam in his eyes. He was slumped back in his chair lazily, completely ignoring the teacher.

"Gomen ne..... I didn't mean to be a burden to anyone....." Kagome trailed off.

"That's really mean you know!" Yuka exclaimed. "Just because some people aren't as perfect as you are doesn't mean you can insult them!"

"Sorry for imposing." He said sarcastically, holding his hands up in mock defense.

"It's okay Yuka." Kagome turned to the boy. "I'll try not to stare off into space anymore, I don't like making other people feel uncomfortable." She barely knew what she was saying, but she knew that he probably had more of a right to exist then she did.

"But Kagome." Yuka tried.

"Ah, shut up, you heard what the wench said." The boy readjusted himself in his chair casually.

Kagome just turned around and put her head on the desk in front of her while her friends exchanged worried glances.

"Kagome, something's wrong and we want to know." Ayumi announced in the hallway after class. "Did someone die or something?"

Did he? Did he die? Yes, that's it. No more Inuyasha.

"Yes..... to me anyway." Kagome whispered.

"Wait... so ya mean that this person isn't actually dead? Nani?" Yuka demanded and explanation.

"Nothing....." Kagome insisted. "Nothing big really."

"Kagome, That's what's wrong..... Was it that abusive boyfriend you were telling us about? The selfish one?" Ayumi guessed.

No response. Just tears. Tears that had been building up and building up ever since that moment. They all came fourth now of all times. Turning, trying to hide her red eyes and wet face from her friends to avoid being a burden, she ran off. Through the crowded hallways, past classrooms and to the front doors she dashed. She was free, free from the world as soon as she got to those doors. Out she went, flinging them open and sprinting down the front steps.

Outside there was a black electric moped sitting right outside on the street and next to it stood the guy from history. He was planning on skipping school to go off somewhere until he saw a girl dash out of the front doors. It was Kagome. It was the flake.

'Wow, I never thought she'd skip school too, maybe she's not so bad after all.' he noticed the tears in her eyes. 'Never mind, just another one of those relationship tragedies again.....' He sighed and mounted his moped. 'Oh well, this is more interesting then whatever else I coulda done.' And with that, he followed the girl- at a distance of course.

Though a tad confused as to where she was going, the boy kept on her path. It seemed she was running from something rather then running to somewhere. Eventually, she ran out of energy and stopped, drooping to the ground listlessly. Looking above her, he saw a huge tree that could have been hundred of years old. She rested at the base of it, clutching to a huge root as if it were a lifeline.

'A tree?' He mused to himself, watching 'Kagome' from behind a clump of nearby shrubs. He could hear faint whispering.

"Why Inuyasha..... Why did you hit me? Do you really hate me that much?" Was all that could be heard.

'Hit her? Whoa whoa whoa! This is more serious then I thought. An abusive relationship?!' He parked his moped quietly. 'Man, this is totally against what I normally do, but I don't like it when guys hurt their women.' He walked towards Kagome resolutely.

"Excuse me?" Kagome jumped as she heard a voice from behind her and spun around to see who it was. When it registered, she immediately attempted to dry her tears and stand up.

"Gomen ne..... What are you doing here?" She asked.

"I saw you come out of the school building crying..... so I followed you here." He said, blushing for the first time in his life.

"Oh, go back to school! I don't want to be a burden on anyone, I just wanted some time alone was all!" Kagome explained quickly.

"What happened?" He interrupted.

"What happened when?" Kagome asked innocently.

"What happened to make you cry, and who's this Inuyasha?" He questioned the weak form that was standing heavily before him.

"He- nothing..... Nothing at all." Kagome caught herself before she said anything stupid.

"Just tell me and get it over with you idiot, then I can go back to school with no hard feelings." He reminded her a lot of Inuyasha, and just because of this, she told him.

"He was..... a friend. I loved him, but he had this other girl that he was hung up on. He just needed me for something he couldn't do. He insulted me all the time, and then one day we got into this horrible fight and he told me that he'd much rather have this other girl then me, and the only reason he was staying with me is cuz he needed me for this thing he couldn't do." She paused. "And then he hit me. He'd never hit me before..... ever." Her jumbled and quick story sunk in.

"So in a way I was right in thinking it was an abusive relationship?" He said, mainly to himself.

"No no! It was all my fault I should have kept my mouth shut....." Kagome looked at her shadow on the ground below her. "Why do you want to know this anyway?"

"I just was w- I mean I was- Well you were crying and I had to see what was wrong since there wasn't anyone else around."

"Oh. Arigato." she sat down on a particularly big root of the Goshimboku they were under. "You know, this tree has been here for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. It's seen betrayal and sadness, but it's also seen great happiness."

He looked up into the green depths of the god tree in awe, as if just noticing he was standing under the leafy giant.

"What's you're name anyway, and why haven't I seen you at school before?"

"Huh? My name's Yuki..... I just came here about a week ago, so I'm pretty new." Yuki looked back down at her and thought of something. "Everyone says that you're really fragile..... that you get sick a lot. Is that true? I mean you don't look sick to me."

Quickly looking at her feet to hide her embarrassed expression, she giggled nervously. "I never get sick actually... I was just- just- gone. A lot. My grandfather made up excuses that I was sick so people wouldn't wonder..... No one is supposed to know that I don't really get sick."

'Why did you just tell him that baka!' Kagome slapped herself mentally.

"Then why were you gone so much?" Of course he'd be curious as to WHY.

"I- I can't tell you that. Gomen ne. I can tell you that I won't be gone anymore though....." She trailed off when another round of tears threatened to come fourth.

"That doesn't have anything to do with this guy does it?" Man he was perceptive... really really perceptive.

"Well.... Yeah.... Sorta."

'Why do I suddenly care about this girl? Why do I feel this need to pound this Inuyasha.' Yuki thought.

"Here, sit down." Kagome offered, motioning towards the empty space on the root next to her.

"You're the first person that I have told any of this to....." Kagome admitted sheepishly. "Thanks for listening."

"Why didn't you get mad at me in class today when I told you to stop staring off into space?" Yuki blurted, realizing that was one of the reasons he couldn't leave this girl alone. He had to know.

"Well, I figure since everyone else has more of a right to live than I do, I should try to make everyone else happy."

"But..... you have just as much a right to live as anyone else!" Yuki turned towards Kagome, watching a few silent tears splash onto the cold, hard ground.

"No. I should have died long ago." Her voice lowered to a tiny whisper. "My soul is not mine, I must return it."

'Nani?' Yuki was a bit confused, how could her soul not be hers..... and wait! He didn't believe this soul stuff anyway.

Kagome shivered. "I just want him to be happy. But as long as I'm alive, he can't be."

Yuki didn't know what he was doing, but before he could think, he was embracing Kagome. She sobbed into this jacket and he hugged her tighter. 'What's this feeling?' Yuki thought frantically.

A broken heart can heal.

A broken heart is not forever.

If that's so then what's the deal?

A broken heart still hurts.

Thanks for sticking in there for this slight edit. The previous story had a few more sentences in there that I decided didn't fit. A tweak here and a tweak there should make ya'll happy! Anyway, the next chapter could be done, I'm just not sure.

I'm hoping for some good feedback. I'm applying the things I'm learning in English (I go to a school with a nationally recognized English department... and paying the price) to my writing, so I wanna hear some stuff from the people that make this happen- YOU.