Summary: The unimaginable has happened: Kikyo has stolen Inuyasha to hell, just as she'd promised. How will Kagome cope, and what does life have to offer her now? Read and find out!A/N: This isn't exactly AU, but... other than this first chapter, and flashbacks, everything will be happening in the Modern Era. No well-hopping. And (I'm trying not to give the story away), other than flashbacks, no Inuyasha. There is a boy who looks like him, though... But I'm a die-hard IY/K fan (when I'm not being an M/K fan...)& I'm also a hopeless romantic. So this will have a happy ending... eventually.
My Everything: Prologue
Kagome remembered when it seemed like she wanted nothing more than to go to school and do well, hang out with her friends, and maybe talk to that cute upperclassman, Hojo. She used to fantasize about just sitting in class, taking notes and understanding what the teacher was talking about, without having to worry about demons, Shikon no kakera, or Naraku. There's be no cursed monks or orphaned kitsunes and taijiyas, no dog-hanyous who stole her heart while lowering her self-esteem, and no clay bodies possessing part of her soul, feeding on young girls' souls to stay animated and making previously-mentioned dog-hanyou go stupid at the thought that she was near. Yes, Kagome used to wistfully remember likfe before she turned fifteen, the simpler times, when her only worries were homework and boys.
Now, it was all she could do not to commit homicide just to break up the monotony. How could she have thought she'd be able to stand the same life she'd had before, after the life she'd experienced with - with him.
It had been two months since the jewel had been completed. Two months since she'd returned to the modern era, alone and broken. And it was all because of that bitch, Kikyo.
Oh, she might not have originally been a bitch, or Kagome doubted he would have fallen in love with her, but her clay reincarnation, fueled by anger and hate was most definitely a bitch. She'd played on his guilt at her death to get him to promise to let her drag him to hell. Then, once Naraku was defeated and the jewel whole again, she used his unfailing honor to make him keep his word. She'd taken the jewel, and she'd taken him, and she'd sunk them all down to hell. Only Kikyo really belonged there.
After they were gone, Sango had been the first to approach her, extending a hand as if to touch her shoulder. Not knowing what would happen if anyone tried to touch or comfort her in any way (and not really wanting to find out), she'd moved away and gone over to Kirara and said they should head back to Musashi village. She'd seen the looks bassing between Miroku and Sango - his concerned, saying Why isn't she upset? Why's she acting normal? and Sango's warning, saying Leave her alone; she'll deal with it how she wants. But she'd ignored them both. She'd pretty much ignored Shippou too, who clung to her and refused to let go, as if she too would disappear. She hadn't told him to let go, but she hadn't hugged him back, either. She'd been numb, detached, denying that anything was wrong. They'd get back to Musashi, and she'd go back home. She always tried to go back home when they were in the village, with varying degrees of success, because of -.
When they'd arrived, they automatically went to Kaede's hut. Kagome hadn't thought about why, or what they would tell the old woman; it was just part of the routine, and routine seemed like a good thing at the moment. Going through familiar motions meant she didn't have to think about things, and not thinking was definitely a plus.
Kaede of course had known as soon as she saw them, Sango and Miroku sad and worried, Shippou upset and clingy, and Kagome herself strangely blank, that something was wrong. The first thing she'd said was, "Where is Inuyasha?"
Everyone had seemed to freeze, except Kagome. In a calm voice she'd said, "That bitch took him to hell, along with the Shikon no Tama. He's gone." And then she'd moved past Kaede and into the hut, where she began packing her bag. When Shippou asked, she'd told him calmly that she had to go homw. He'd thrown himself at her, wailing and crying that she couldn't leave him alone. She'd pulled him off and told him that she had to go home, she didn't belong in the past. She'd tried (though it was beyond her to try very hard) to calm him down and reassure him. Finally he'd cried himself to sleep, and Kagome (in an act of cowardice that disgusted herself) had snuck away while he rested. Even as she'd done it she'd been appalled, and had asked Sango to look after him.
"I'll try to come back," she'd whispered, while a part of her already knew that she wouldn't be able to get through anymore. "But if I can't, I don't want him to be all alone." Like I am."Why don't you stay?" Sango'd asked. She also seemed to realize that Kagome wouldn't be able to come back.
"I... I can't." I can't look at you and Miroku without feeling nauseous, or wanting to cry. I can't look at anything here and not remember, and the last thing I want to do is remember. I want to forget, and I want to stop feeling.
Of course, she didn't say any of this. She just got her bag, suffered through Sango and Miroku's hugs (he didn't even try to grope her) and Kaede's knowing look, and headed off toward the well. She'd almost lost it when she saw the Goshinboku, with a notch in the wood and a large spot where the bark hadn't grown for some time, like something had been in its way...
She'd ran the rest of the way to the well, jumping in and not caring that the time slip might already be closed, that she might break something and lie hurt at the bottom. She really couldn't find it in herself to care...
But it had opened beneath her, accepting her passage one last time. She'd sat at the bottom of the well for a long time, eyes unfocussed and her mind a fuzzy blank. What do I do now? The question kept repeating in her mind, but she couldn't figure out the answer. She couldn't even figure out what the question was referring to: now that she was home, or now that he was...
At some point, she climbed out of the well. She couldn't remember moving, standing up, climbing out, or going to the house. But she remembered with crystal clarity the shhhk! of the shoji as she pushed it open. Souta and Jiichan were watching television, and she told them, "I'm going up to my room." And then she did, not waiting to see if they wanted to talk to her. She went into her room, lay down on her bed, closed her eyes -
and saw Inuyasha, sound asleep on her bed, surrounded by her scent, secure in the knowledge that both she and himself were safe from harm.
Kagome's eyes snapped open as she bolted off the bed and ran out of the room. She reached the toilet just as her stomach decided to empty itself of everything she had no memory of eating. Her eyes watered as her throat burned, and it was just too much. Inuyasha was gone, never coming back. She'd never see him again. He'd never come jumping through her window, insisting they go back to the feudal era and hunt for jewel shards. He'd never give her another backhanded compliment, she'd never get to ride pick-a-back1 on him again, enjoying his speed and agility as he ran through the countryside. She'd never have the chance to help him learn how to relax, and not see everyone as a threat. She'd never get to hear him say "I love you." She'd never got to pet his ears again.
Kagome threw up once more.
Her mother, coming up the stairs to say hello, heard her wretching and rushed to the open bathroom door. "Kagome! Are you alright?" She knelt down and placed her hand over Kagome's forehead, checking her temperature. "You don't feel feverish," she'd murmured.
Kagome couldn't stand having her mother think it was a physical illness. "Inuyasha's gone." It was the first time she'd said his name since it had happened. Saying it, hearing it in her own voice, made it seem all the more real suddenly. By sheer force of will, she kept herself from wretching again.
Her mother grew still, and asked softly, carefully, "What do you mean, 'gone'?"
Kagome swallowed against the bile in her throat and said, "He got sucked into hell by That Bitch, Kikyo." She didn't care what her mother thought of her use of foul language; there was no better description for the once-again-dead miko.
Her mother nodded gently in understanding. "I see. When dinner's ready, would you like some? I know you probably don't want to eat anything, but I think you should try to keep your strength up."
Why? Kagome nodded wearily, wondering if it would stay down for even an hour.
She went and sat in Souta's room until dinner, unable to go back into her own room. At one point he'd come in to do his homework. He'd taken one look at her - huddled on the floor, crammed into the corner between his wall and bed, legs drawn up like a small child hiding from monsters - shook his head, and went to his desk, ignoring her presence.
Dinner was a somber affair, Kagome's strange attitude putting everyone on edge. About halfway through, Souta had asked, "So, where's Inu-no-niichan?"
Kagome's hand stopped halfway to her mouth. She put down her chopsticks, murmured an 'excuse me please' and left the table. She went into Souta's room again, grabbing his pillow and laying down on the floor.
When Souta came back up to his room, it was obvious Mama had told him what had happened. "Um... sorry, Neechan. Are you gonna sleep in here?"
Kagome shrugged. Souta sighed and murmured, "I'll get a futon for ya."
So Kagome slept on a spare futon in Souta's room. The next day, Mama had woken Souta up for school, and Kagome had gotten ready as well. When Mama had asked if she was sure she wanted to go to school, Kagome had asked, "Why not?"
"Well, I just thought... you might not feel like going today. I could have Jiichan say you're still sick."Kagome had stared at her mother flatly and said, "I'm going to school, Mama."
Unfortunately, once she got there, Kagome had realized that she really wasn't ready for school, because it meant seeing her well-meaning but annoying friends. They didn't usually annoy her, because she knew they did mean well, but that day everything seemed to get on her nerves. She hadn't slept well the night before, waking up about every hour (but fortunately unable to remember any dreams she may have had), so no matter what she did, she still looked rundown and tired. Her friends immediately began worrying about her, asking if she really felt well enough to be in school today. Finally, she'd said quietly, "Please, just... leave me alone. I couldn't stand being at home another day, that's why I'm here."
And it had been true. She just couldn't bear the thought of being alone in the house all day, with nothing but her thoughts to keep her company. Her thoughts, and her memories. No, even her annoying but well-meaning friends were better than that.
Of course, then break came, and Kagome began to reconsider her assessment. Because Hojo had shown up, and her well-meaning but exceedingly-annoying friends immediately called him over, and began trying to get her to go out with him. She'd sat at her desk, while the other four had stood around her, talking over her head, speaking on her behalf, as if they knew exactly what she wanted. She listened as the girls spoke to Hojo about how she just couldn't stand to stay home one more day, even though she still wasn't feeling her best, and Hojo exclaiming that if she wasn't feeling well, perhaps she ought to go home early, even if she wanted to be in school. It was quite commendable of her to come when she still wasn't feeling her best, though. (At least Hojo was actually speaking to her, even though it was Yuka, Eri or Ayumi who answered him.)
Then, Yuka suggested that if she were feeling alright by the weekend, maybe she wouldn't mind going to a movie with Hojo. Of course, the boy had thought that a wonderful idea, as long as she was sure she was up to it (which of course, she most definitely wasn't). As they began discussing which movies were playing, and where to eat beforehand, Kagome began getting hot. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest, and her fingers began sweating. There was a rushing in her ears, and finally, when it all got to be too much, she'd said quietly, "Enough."
But no one seemed to have heard her. "Stop," she'd tried again. When that hadn't worked, she'd snapped and yelled "Shut up!"
Everyone in the room went silent as they looked at her, but Kagome was beyond caring. She looked at Hojo and said evenly, "Hojo-kun, I'm sorry to be blunt, but I won't be going on a date with you. You're a wonderful boy, but I just... I just can't. Please forgive me, if you thought otherwise." Of course, it wasn't her fault that he did think otherwise, but she'd been raised a polite girl, and she was falling back on old habits.
Hojo had been exceedingly understanding, but once he'd left, her three "friends" turned on her, looking for answers.
"Kagome-chan!" Yuka had cried. "What are you doing! Hojo's a great guy! Everyone wants to go out with him, but he only wants to go out with you!"
"Maybe it's because she already has a boyfriend," Ayumi speculated. Ayumi seemed to be the only one to remember about her "boyfriend" most of the time.
Eri snorted. "That two-timer? Why would she want to go out with him, when she could have Hojo-kun?"
"I'm not going out with anyone," Kagome interjected, sick of her friends speaking about her as if she weren't there.
Yuka turned to look at her and asked, "So, you dumped that jerk boyfriend? Or... did he dump you?" She sounded concerned as she asked the last question.
"No. He... he died." Which was true, as far as that. He'd been sucked into hell, and she didn't suppose you could survive something like that.
"Oh... Kagome..." Ayumi had promptly sat down beside her and wrapped an arm around her before Kagome could stop her. Kagome had looked at Ayumi's sincerely concerned face... and promptly burst into tears.
If she hadn't been so overwhelmed by the emotions she'd been blocking out for the twenty-four hours, she would have been mortified that she was crying in the middle of the classroom. Fortunately, she had three well-meaning friends there to take care of her. They'd ushered Kagome out of the room, surrounding her and blocking people's curious gazes with their bodies, forming a human shield of privacy for her. They took her to the nurse's office, and Ayumi called her mother.
Mama arrived less than ten minutes later, rushing into the nurse's station and searching worriedly for her daughter. Classes had already started by that time, so Kagome was alone on the couch. She was still crying, but only now and then breaking out into full-blown sobs. Mama had sighed, sitting down beside her and gathering her up into a tight hug.
Kagome clung to her, burying her face into her mother's shoulder and crying. It felt good to be held, to know that someone cared about her. But she'd wished Inuyasha was there. He never knew what to do when she cried, but his awkward pats on the back and mumbled, "Stop cryin' would ya?" always made her feel better, because she knew it upset him to see her cry. These thoughts only made her cry harder, and Mama began to rock her slightly from side to side, making 'shhh'ing sounds.
Once she'd stopped sobbing, and had gotten herself even marginally under control, her mother had ushered her out of the school. Mama had taken the subway to get there, but under the circumstances, she thought it would be better to walk home than be packed into a subway car. Mama kept an arm wrapped around her shoulders, holding her close to her side.
When they got back to the shrine, Mama began to take her upstairs, but Kagome shook her head and stopped walking. "I- I can't." There was no way she would be able to go in her room again this soon.
Mama had nodded, and led her over to the couch in the living room. A few moments later, she brought Kagome a cup of tea.
Now that she'd stopped crying, she felt empty. As if all the emotions she'd held inside had been holding her up, and now that she'd cried them out, she was drained, deflated. She was broken.
After that, Kagome had closed in on herself. She'd gone back to school the next day, and other than avoiding the subject of boys, her friends acted normal around her, or tried to. But she just couldn't tolerate being in their presence for long durations now. She loved her friends, but she just wasn't the same girl anymore, and she could never go back to being that girl again. It seemed as if that girl had gotten sucked into hell along with Inuyasha.
Kagome sighed now, turning her wandering attention back to the teacher. School was so boring for her now. What did she care about quadratic formulas and Newton's Hypoteneuse? She didn't. It wouldn't save her life, and it wouldn't bring him back, so there was absolutely no point to it. Kagome looked down at her notebook and began doodling in it.
Absolutely no point whatsoever. To any of it.
1pick-a-back: I'm reading a book about a Japanese family, and the author says this instead of piggy-back. I just enjoyed the sound of it& also thought that perhaps they say pick-a-back instead of piggy-back in Japan.