A woman, not old, exactly, but no longer young, either, walked slowly but with a hint of anticipation toward a very old and battered well house. The doors creaked and shuddered when she opened them, causing the entire building to do the same. She was sure it would collapse one day, but that wouldn't matter. The only thing that mattered was the well inside it. As long as it remained, she could always hope.
At the top of the stairs she paused for a moment, slowly scanning the area around the well for any sign of what she had been waiting for for years, but found the same thing she always found; nothing. Nothing was what was always there but still she would come every day, just to be sure. And always she would walk to the well, both a blessing and a curse, and stay there until late at night and sometimes early morning, as she did that day.
She ran her fingers over it's wood, not noticing the splinters that would embed themselves into her skin. Or perhaps she did notice and simply didn't care. The rough texture of the pads on her fingers would suggest the latter. Splinters could be gotten rid of, but memories could not, and when she was here, those memories and the emotions that accompanied them were too strong for anything else to really matter. The last time the well had worked was so long ago, yet she remembered every detail of it as though it were still happening.
She remembered how sure she was that on the other side, on her side, they would still be together. She remembered how hard she had tried to hold on to him, and how she had failed. She remembered how time had taken him back.
Inuyasha had gone with her to the well that day. They all knew that once the Sacred Jewel was restored, she may not be able to return. It was something that had been in the backs of their minds for a long while, before the jewel was even halfway completed. She had put off going home for some time, coming up with this or that chore that needed to be done, but there was only so long she could continue to do so. She knew she had to go home at one point, knew she had to take that risk eventually; the risk of losing everything she had come to love so dearly.
The two of them had stood beside the well for a long time, not knowing what to do or say. Neither one of them had ever liked saying good bye to each other for even a short amount of time, but to know it might be permanent, that they might never see each other again? It was inevitably harder. Perhaps the fact that they didn't know for sure made it even worse.
Knowing that standing around wouldn't solve anything or answer any questions, she had bade Inuyasha a silent good-bye by wrapping her arms around him in an almost desperate embrace. They stayed that way for a moment longer, still not speaking, before she reluctantly pulled away and slowly walked to the lip of the well.
She was just about to jump in when Inuyasha came up beside her, grabbing her hand and holding it tight. She didn't even have to look at him to know what he meant. Smiling, she nodded, and they jumped as one into the well.
Everything was fine at first. The blue light was still there, along with the feeling of floating that she usually experienced. And most importantly of all, Inuyasha was still there, holding her hand as tightly as he could without hurting her. The well had worked.
Or so she thought. Just when she was sure they would appear in the well house, she felt his hand become…thinner. She looked back, and saw that he seemed to be fading. She tried desperately to hold on, but whatever was trying to force them apart had won. He slipped from her hand, and in the blink of an eye, was gone.
When she arrived at her time, she had immediately tried to activate the well so that she could go back. She had jumped in so many times her knees had given out and she collapsed. She had hoped Inuyasha would come through, that what she had just seen didn't mean what she thought it did.
He never came. She waited for hours, but never again did she see him. She was still waiting. Even after many years, while her hair began to gray and her face started the first of its wrinkles, she waited.
The sun was long gone before the older woman turned to leave, to go back into the shrine where her bedroom was in the same place as all those years ago, in case he should come for her while she slept. She hesitated once more at the top of the stairs, staring back longingly at the well.
She had been so sure, back then, that if they went together, they couldn't be separated. The possibility that they could lose each other while they were inside the well had never occurred to her. But it seemed as though time was tired of being messed with.
Time had reclaimed him, she knew this, but still she would wait, and would do so until time claimed her as well.
A/N: My first Inuyaha fic! YAY! It's kind of cliche, I know, but I'm hoping the concept of how they lost eachother isn't. It was short, too, so I must appologize.I want to do a Sess/Kagura one, but my darn muse wont help me there. (sigh) Well, anyway, click that pretty purple button and tell me what you think so that I may just write something else.