Word Count: 670
Summary: The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow - there is no humor in heaven.
Human beings, Kikyou thinks, always strive for the things that end, and tell themselves the things that end are eternal. Like friendship. Like family. Like faith.
Kikyou stands, staring at her lover and her reincarnation, who are perched at the edge of the pit where Kikyou had sought to send her other self. Inuyasha is demanding to know what happened, why Kagome is trembling and scared and angry, what, oh, what did you do to her, Kikyou?
It is enough to make her cry.
The vines show nightmares because they show the sufferer the thing they fear the most, which is the thing that lasts forever. In between the lines of their fears, they can read eternity. They can read the only thing that is worth striving for.
The monk dreams of dying, of betraying his friends, though he had always thought he could be far, far away from them when he ended. Even could he not save himself, he knew he could do this one thing, and spare them. But what if he cannot? But he can, because he is strong, and his loyalty to them is forever. Right?
(What a tragedy.)
The taiji-ya dreams of her little brother, whom she could not save, for whom she still fights, because family is forever, right?
(What a tragedy.)
The little kitsune, alone, afraid, lost, afraid, always trailing after, afraid. And let us agree, now we are together: friendship is forever. (Right?)
(What a tragedy.)
So what they really want is the opposite of forever, which is nothing at all.
(This is all a well-known secret.)
In a way, Inuyasha thinks he is striving for love, because he thinks that love lasts forever, though what he knows is that love ends, and that love hurts.
(Which is funny, because that's not love, but it does last an eternity.)
Or rather, he knew that until she came along. (The other one.) And now he wants love that doesn't end. From the right thing to the wrong.
And that is the silly part, because the only thing that lasts forever is tragedy. It is the only thing that cannot be reversed. Good can always be negated, wiped out, but a tragedy is the one thing that lasts, the one thing that is always has happened, that is always can't go back, that is always always, which means that Inuyasha should be happy (and happiness turns to despair which is eternal, thank goodness) that he has her, because they are a neat little tragedy, and that means they are always and forever.
Kikyou begins to laugh.
Tragedy is pain is suffering is always, is the one forever-thing, and yet no one seems to want it, even though happiness is always-ending. The irony is too, too much, and she could either cry or laugh, but they are one and the same because they spring from the same thing.
Which is tragedy. Which is forever. Which means tears last forever, too. Or maybe it's laughter that lasts. Even better, it could be both.
(That would be hysterical.)
The vines have not touched her, and that is good, because if they were to brush over her skin in deceitful lover's caresses, she would see herself happy. Happy, and fulfilled.
(This would be the greatest tragedy of all.)
The thought only makes her laugh harder.
And she thinks: she would give all of them an eternity of laughter, if only she could be with him.
And she thinks: if only they could leave behind the other, then the other would laugh, too.
And she thinks: they can all learn to laugh together.
(And she thinks: they will, they will.)
Kikyou leaves them, ascends in the arms of her stolen life, away from endings, to endings, which are tragedies which are -
If ever she and Kagome are to truly meet, she thinks, they will sit and talk of all the unending ending things.
And maybe, together, they will share a laugh.
And it will hurt forever.