Edited: April, 2012
Title: encore une fois
Summary: And again, and again, and again.
Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha.
Note: This story is seven years old. Whoa.
She didn't love him.
Those words sounded so strange to her, even when unspoken. Kagome had spent too long telling herself to wait, to be patient. Give it time. One day, he would see her logic- he would come back to her. She kept telling herself this until it became so cyclical and repetitive as a thought that she began to forget what the actual meaning of the words were. Hope was becoming reflexive, and such is a saddening occurrence, so Kagome pushed it back into the shadows of her mind every time it threatened to overcome other whimsical ideals. Things would have continued on this way for quite a long stretch of time, too, had it not been for the flower.
Another consequence of Kagome's love for the half-breed demon was her realization that she had let slip a lot of words and their respective meanings. Tomes, novels, and boxes full of all sorts of words, and what they stood for- meaningless with time neglected. What did she herself stand for? Take the characters behind the name 'Inuyasha,' for example. Inuyasha translated from Japanese to English was 'Dog Goblin, and the schoolgirl couldn't have translated it into two truer words than those herself. Dog described Inuyasha perfectly, didn't it? Ironically, so did Goblin, as his nature was that of one.
The word behind Kikyou's name had a meaning as well. Kikyou could be translated with only one solid meaning, however: 'Bell flower'. Such a pretty flower, too. It was one that bloomed in the spring months, according to Webster's, which was bitterly ironic in Kagome's mind. Kikyou herself was a dead but animate fixture of life, nevertheless Kikyou's namesake would, of course, nurture and thrive in the season of life; the time of year when things rose from their icy shackles and resumed the never-ending circle that is life for one more go. Whatever.
This sparked a memory. Inuyasha had once given Kagome a bellflower as a gift. The flower had been a real act of affection, something not just a 'friend' would do, and Kagome had cherished the flower and its sweet aroma, cradling it in her grasp throughout the day. She hadn't thought much into Inuyasha's added statement about how his past, undead ex-lover had always liked that kind of flower as well. Kagome had thought the demon was just being stupid, and it was the thought that counted after all.
She had gone home, canopying the flower in her hands as she went from the spring season of feudal Japan, arriving in the snowy and wintry season of modern day, suburban Tokyo. Her footsteps were clumsy as she darted across the ice and up the many stairs to her home. She was met at the foot of the stairs by her grandfather and mother, and found herself automatically thrusting the cupped flower forward to show them. What better way to prove them wrong about Inuyasha than show them his gift? She would show them that he was not so cold hearted, or immature, or demonic as her mother or grandfather would usually suggest he was, tones always joking, implications a serious aftertaste.
Her mother had been the first to respond, though an odd emotion she attempted to hide was written on her features.
"Aaah, Kagome... It's very pretty." She had complimented, eyes crinkling to a close at what she wasn't saying. Kagome, instead of questioning her, blushed in turn, lavishing an affectionate gaze upon the flower. It indeed was. Her grandfather canted his head, however, eyes narrowing as he rubbed his beard between his thumb and forefinger thoughtfully. Kagome continued on, choosing to interpret their words and gestures for other emotions.
"Inuyasha got it for me, Mama. Do you have a small vase?" she asked timidly, her ash-gray eyes fixed on the flower. Her mother smiled, but paused in her actions as Kagome's Grandfathers' arm appeared between the two girls, reaching out and plucking the plant from between Kagome's fingers.
"Don't worry, Kagome. I've got a vase in the attic that this Kikyou will look perfect in." He assured while turning and starting up the stairs. Kagome looked blankly after her grandfather, confusion and surprise capturing her features as her mother remained silent for a few moments. Hesitantly, Kagome managed to lift her head to her mother, the beginnings of anxiety playing across her forehead as she furrowed her brows in inquiry. Just what kind of joke was that for her grandfather to spout, calling the beautiful blossom a Kikyou of all things? He was ridiculous.
"Mama, why would Grampa-?" But Kagome's mother shook her head, pulling the now teary-eyed and confused girl into her embrace. Mrs. Higurashi closed her eyes, petting her daughters hair in the way all mothers' seem to excel at, cursing Inuyasha's ignorance and the existence of the well all the same.
"That's the name of the flower, Kagome." She responded quietly, eyelids lowering over her own ocean eyes. Kagome paused, staring into the cotton stitching of her mothers' shirt as she let her heart process this. It took a moment for the tears to really commence, and for the understanding to fully digest and tear apart her love-befuddled mind.
And as easy as it was to learn the simple meaning of a flowers name, Kagome mused it was also very easy for her to learn not to love the Hanyou; if it wasn't easy, it didn't make it any less imperative. Oh, Inuyasha. Demon Dog. Half-breed. So many words were connected to her companion, and none really gave the sort of meaning that she once thought he deserved.
So now, she rattled him. He became a bewildered companion, and could not understand her new faraway looks and foreign eyes; who wondered what he'd done to lose her attention and affection so easily, and could be often found reveling in his own mangled thoughts on the situation between them. His tireless questioning had been answered with another one of Kagome's smiles; Except these smiles were forced, and sad, and so very, very tired.
She didn't love him.
Those words hummed in her head, eliciting a hollow echo that bounced forward and backward and sideways through the lonely corners of her heart. It was an echo that sent her spinning, as well as laid down the foundations for a dull throbbing headache in her near future. It was an echo she could not easily cease or desist.
...She didn't love him...?
And the echo shook Kagome to her core… again, and again, and again.