Repost. IYFG winner.


Sometimes he thinks he hates her.

She sleeps on her left side, always turned away from him, and he's grateful. In the dark, hidden by black hair and a clothed back, he can almost imagine she is someone else.

It is that almost' that he hates. He thinks it would be so easy to kill her even with a blunted sword and blunter nails. He could wrap his fingers around her neck just as easily as he slides them down her side. He would strangle her or crush her or smother her in her sleep.

She would thank him.


When Nazuna stepped off the boat and onto the muddy, grassy bank, she thought her life would be great. Perfect. And it was, except that wasn't what she wanted. The villagers were trusting and naive, and she hated them. They reminded her too much of herself.

If he had asked - which he didn't - she wouldn't have described the life she led at the village since the four years they had parted. Don't you ever feel, she would have said instead, as if you are stuck in an endless loop? Inuyasha would have thought of Kikyou and - most of all - Kagome, and he would have said there wasn't a time when he didn't.

But he didn't ask and she didn't tell because they weren't that sort of people. And they'd both broken out of their loops so it didn't matter, anyway.


Midoriko betrayed Kikyou in the end.

Kikyou had assumed she was using Midoriko's soul to move her body. Which was true, to a certain extent: Midoriko had been using Kikyou's body to move her soul.

The Shikon no Tama laid smooth and unblemished in Kagome's palm.

The vengeance that had kept her body moving was satisfied, and the souls were leaking out of her like blood from a gash. Inuyasha had held Kikyou in his arms and she had smiled at him. How many times could she die in a lifetime, he had wondered, and why was he always so powerless to stop it?


They rut not two meters away from the spot Kagome held him in her lap, and he refuses to feel guilty.


One of the first questions she asked him was what had become of the Shikon no Tama. He tells her they used it to kill a youkai, and she stares for a moment as if expecting more.

she says when she receives none, and returns to plucking weeds. He can't help but glare at her bent back and expectant nature, as if it were some fairy tale without real people and real events behind it. He could say pain' and loss' and death', but they were just words and he couldn't use them to make people understand.

But then he thinks of the spider heads, of the tears she had shed, and of a body that wasn't a body at all and just a massive trap. And he thinks she must understand, if only just a little.


Sometimes he thinks he loves her.

Occasionally, on a whim, he will turn to her and ask a question. Do you remember, he'll say, when Moryoumaru was dead but Naraku was still alive, before Kouga died but after Kohaku did? She answers with a blank stare because the names mean nothing to her. It's nice, sometimes, not being surrounded by people who can only remember and regret.

Occasionally, on a whim, she will ask about his friends. He tells her they got tired, which is a lie and she hates being lied to but he does it anyway. It's easier to explain than the truth and he doesn't think it's that far off, anyway.


Sango cradled the broken body of a boy in her arms, and lifted her smudged face to glare fiercely at his brother. He ignored her and the insistent sword at his hip: whether the child was alive or not was no concern of his. He turned to go, his youkai clothing already mending itself. Bloodstains were fading, cracked armor melding back together, and he looked untouched by the battle. He probably was.

That little girl seized the loose fabric of his left sleeve in her tiny hand, and even though he could have brushed it off without an effort he stopped and looks down at her. She didn't say anything - just smiled, bright and happy and so painfully, pitifully trusting. She didn't demand or plead, she didn't try to appeal to his tiny conscious or moral obligation to his birthright. Just smiled.

He turned back to the boy, slipped the sword from its sheath, and held it level over his prone body.

There is a tense pause, and none of them make a move to disturb it. Any moment they expected him to slice through something they couldn't see, to return the boy to his sister.

Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed and he slid Tenseiga back into the scabbard. Rin's smile faltered and faded. He made a move to leave once more.

What the fuck do you think you're doing? he was angry then, more so than if Sesshoumaru had refused to draw his sword from the start. To raise Sango's hopes like that was needlessly cruel. . . and completely in sync with his personality. He was angry at himself just for thinking his brother could change.

He looked back at him. He only half-turned; such a stain on his otherwise impressive family line doesn't deserve his full attention. The human has been dead too long. His soul has already departed; the only thing that was animating his body was the Shikon shard.

Kagome gasped, her fingers closing around the pale gem in her hand. Sesshoumaru disappeared from view, his entourage at his heels, and the only sound on the battle field was Sango's sobs.

Later, when he found he still has a hole in his hand, Miroku smiled and told them all it was never a sure thing, really. Naraku never said his demise would end the curse, they had all just assumed and hoped. He slipped away one night and the morning greeted them with a crater.

Sango hung up her taijiya costume and leaned her boomerang against a wall after that. She gathered up Kirara and Shippou and smiled at them. Please understand.

Kagome didn't. She pled with her to stay, told her it would get better, asked her not to go. But Inuyasha understood. Sango didn't love Takeda Kuranosuke, of course, but he loved her and she needed that. She lost everything she wanted and now she just wanted something, anything, that wouldn't get taken away.

Inuyasha doesn't stop her. Kagome blamed him for it later and spent a great deal of time sobbing into the well.


It occurs to Inuyasha that people smile much, much too often and usually don't mean it. Nazuna only smiles when she means it, which is never.


It took Nazuna three days to get over her pride and visit the young, handsome man' who had stumbled across their village and was staying in the headman's house. When they finally met face-to-face after more than four years, Inuyasha expected a thousand questions from her.

He only got one: Why the hell did he have such a ridiculous beard?

Inuyasha wasn't sure why he asked her to bring him to the temple - for that matter, he didn't know why she went with him. She sat and watched him pull up grave markers to light a fire when it got dark, and he remembered her words: He'll be cursed.

Maybe I am, he considered, but a few sticks don't have anything to do with it.

My fondest memories are here, she had said slowly, looking at the flames. I loved it more in the company of my father's murderer than in a village surrounded by kind people. Does that make me a bad person?

Inuyasha isn't sure he knows the difference between bad and good anymore.


He does know why he left Kaede's village. He couldn't stand the pity. Wherever he went, he wasn't Inuyasha - he was the poor boy who used to be a hanyou, and now all his friends were dead, or gone, or gone-to-be-dead, and wasn't it so fucking sad?

Inuyasha doesn't know, but Nazuna felt similarly. She was nineteen - too old to get married; raised by a father so she didn't know how to clean or cook or do anything right. She was too rude, too loud, too argumentative. They'd shake their heads at the poor little orphan girl, and she hated that no one knew what happened to her just upstream.

He kisses her because the Inuyasha she remembers was human. She kisses back because he remembers.


Inuyasha and Kagome stood facing each other, the jewel between them, not four meters from the place he had stood with Kikyou. Her eyes were shining when she gave him her well-rehearsed speech, ignorant of how closely it mirrored the one he heard fifty years ago. There was one difference, however: while Kikyou told him it would be best for the two of them, Kagome told him it would be best for the whole world.

Only heroes want to save the world. He didn't want to be a hero.

The only way the Shikon no Tama can be purified is if Midoriko defeats a youkai, Inuyasha.

That wasn't exactly true. But Inuyasha wasn't going to let Kagome live the life Kikyou had, so he took the jewel in his hand and made a wish. He remembered that her eyes had lit up when she threw her arms around his neck with a shout.

He wasn't sure of he should be thankful she didn't tell him she loved him or not. Would it have been better to know exactly what it was he had lost, or would it have made it harder to lose her?

Instead of kissing him, she took the beads off of his neck.

It was evening when Kagome was ready to leave. Kaede was the only one left to say goodbye to, which she did tearfully. She lifted one knee up and rested it on the wood, smiled, squeezed his hand, and jumped. Now that the jewel was gone, she couldn't come back. Inuyasha jumped in after her, only to smash into the unyielding dirt.

How were either of them supposed to know it was the rosary that let him pass through the well?

He was bitter for a long time afterward and, when he is really honest with himself, he is still bitter. He wondered why and, for a while, thought it was because he had made the greatest sacrifice to be with her and she hadn't given up anything herself. It was only when he laid with Nazuna in a crumbling ruin that reminded him of dark nights and a fifteen year old girl that smelled good that he understood.

She had escaped the past. He was still stuck in it.


The fall into the well had sprained his ankle. He shouldn't have expected anything else; he was human, after all.


Kikyou wanted him to become a human so they could live a life of normality. Kagome wanted him to remain a hanyou because he-didn't-know-why.

He asks Nazuna which she prefers, omitting mention of his youkai side because it would take too much to explain. The point is moot in any case and Tessaiga sits at his hip, undrawn for nearly half a decade.

I don't really care for either, she says, idly stirring a pot. Anyway, you're still the same person either way, aren't you?


Not quite.


Her nails are sharper than his. The first time they fucked, she left bloody welts on his back. Later, she complained about his stubble scratching the insides of her thighs. They were both irritable for a long time afterward, mostly because they liked it.


Most times he doesn't think at all.

I don't know why I stay with you, you know, she mutters. She is facing away from him as always, and his arm is wrapped around her ribs and tucked underneath her abdomen. I don't really like you much.

He doesn't answer because he doesn't really like her much either and she traces a pattern in the wood with her fingertip. The fire has burned out by now but it's still summer so they're still warm. Inuyasha suspects she is done talking. As usual, he is wrong.

When I was in the village, I kept thinking of what I should have done differently. That I shouldn't have pulled the sword out of the door. Then I started thinking further back and I thought I shouldn't have brought you here, or stayed here in the first place, or that I should have just insisted my father stay home that one morning.

Inuyasha makes a sound in the back of his throat and shifts his arm. Wasn't your fault, he grunts, staring past her at the dark sky. She is silent for a while, then folds her arm against her side.

she says, and he knows she is smirking. You know, that's what I needed that I couldn't get in the village. I didn't want to be loved, or forgiven, or understood. I just wanted to hear that it wasn't my fault.

He grunts again, more than half asleep already, and glances down at her dark hair. He likes it here, he decides, because here' is a place he could leave at anytime, without regrets. He's tired of regrets. And he's really tired of being left.

And you, too, Nazuna murmurs, dozing off herself.

Whatever it was that happened - it wasn't your fault either.

Inuyasha decides to stay a little while longer.

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