Summary: When it seems she's lost everything that her heart cares for, what is left for Kagome to remember? But is there something that she hasn't realized yet? COMPLETE, inspired songfic by Josh Groban's, Remember Me from the "Troy" Soundtrack.
Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimer Applies. I don't own Inuyasha and crew, not even Sesshoumaru (Kira owns him, don't ya Kira! ) I don't even own the nameless witch woman in the story (Puck owns her...he wouldn't even tell me her name, fer crissakes!) (Slaps on a LawyerYoukai Seal from Lilac's stash just in case)
"I'm with you / Whenever you tell my story
- Josh Groban, Remember Me
"Are you certain you wish to continue?"
Kagome was looking at the woman, but it was as if she were not seeing her. In Kagome's eyes, the woman was a blur of gray and browns, a face somewhere and Kagome looked at where part of her mind still knew the face should be, but she did not see a face: she did not see eyes or mouth, only the faint musk of incense still in the air. She might have been repulsed by the smell, but didn't think enough to care. She realized that the old woman had asked her a question and was waiting for her to reply.
"There will be no going back," the woman reminded her. "This is permanent – you will lose all memory of him and you will never get it back. It will be as if he never existed for you." The woman searched her face. "Is that what you want?"
Kagome blinked, trying to search within herself to find out if she cared. There were so many good memories she would lose…she knew that. So many moments that she treasured even now, but…but…
She closed her eyes and was instantly assaulted by the flash of fire, the screams, the cries of her name, the smell of burning. She buckled under the pain, falling to the ground on her knees but not feeling anything except the salt tears stinging her eyes. She screamed and closed herself off, shoving it all away, but still able to taste it all on the back of her tongue, like a bitter aftertaste. She fought to wrap herself inside the numbness that was the only thing that had given her some measure of peace. But even through it all, even if she fought to push the memories away, she could feel it…hear it…smell it…taste it…
She didn't want to feel. Feeling was pain and…
"I don't want the pain…" she confessed, her voice so low she wasn't certain it had come audible enough for the old woman. "Take away the pain…" she whispered, fighting off the tears. "…please…"
"As you wish," the woman replied.
Kagome opened her eyes to find an earthenware bowl in her line of sight, held by the old woman's gnarled and weathered hands. Kagome blinked until she could focus on the bowl and its murky liquid contents. Kagome somehow managed to lift her hands until she was holding the bowl. Her hands shook a little and she was half afraid she'd spill the liquid, but she didn't seem to be able to stop them.
"Drink," the woman instructed. "And when you wake, you shall be empty of your memories of him."
Kagome found her arms moving of their own accord, lifting the bowl to her mouth, the rough clay pressing against her lips, the faint odor of herbs she couldn't quite place wafting up to her nose. She knew that she had to open her mouth; she knew that she had to let the liquid fill her throat, but she seemed to have forgotten how to make her body respond to her commands. She had a moment of doubt, a moment of rebellion where she refused to let go of the memories of what she'd done and who she'd been with him, but then she remembered his eyes and she knew that she would never be able to remember him without remembering the way he'd been taken from her…what other choice did she have?
Initially, she had thought about dying…she had wished that she had died with him, but in realizing that she hadn't, that the mere pain that tore her up inside would not kill her, she had thought about killing herself and joining him regardless. After all, how could she live without him? She wasn't strong enough…not by a long shot…she couldn't live with this pain. But then she had seen, through the hazy fog of her mourning, she had seen the look of worry in her friends' eyes. She had felt the strength they tried to give her as they hugged her and held her. She had seen the silent plea that she not give up…that she not make them suffer through the loss of someone else and she knew it would be the same for her family. Even through the pain, she knew she could not be selfish and cause that much more pain to her family and loved ones. She had to live, but could she? With the memory of him and the way he had died and the pain that would never go away, how could she?
And then she heard about this woman…a woman whose tribe knew a potent potion that would take away your pain, make you forget the root of your greatest sorrow and she thought, 'This is the only way I can continue.' Even if it would take away a part of her, it was the only thing she could think of.
'This is the only solution,' she decided as her mouth finally opened and her hands started to tilt the liquid. At the first taste of spice, her eyes found the old woman's over the rim of the bowl. Even though her throat was constricting and swallowing, and her hands continued to raise the bowl so that more and more of the liquid tipped into her mouth, the only thing she noticed before she lost consciousness was that the woman's eyes were blue.
With You: Chapter 2
"Wake up…Kagome, wake up."
Although she heard the voice it was the feel of the soft cool fingers against her skin that made her focus enough to realize she was awake. And yet, her body felt so bulky, so much apart from her that she couldn't imagine how to go about making it move. And her eyelids felt so heavy, weighted down by the desire to sleep, to not move, to not remember…
She sighed, her eyes still closed. What didn't she want to remember? Was there something?
Trying to remember brought a pain to her insides and she let the desire go. It mustn't have been important.
Again, the voice and the press of cool flesh against her heated skin. She wanted to tell them to go away, but she couldn't seem to remember how to make sound, how to form words and the idea of making her lips move seemed as alien to her as the idea of having to open her eyes.
More urgent now, the voice, the hands shaking her a little, reminding her what it was like to move and she realized she didn't know the voice either…or the word…was that her name?
"Kagome." The word (her name?) whispered against her ear, arms around her, warm breath caressing her. "Remember," the voice insisted. He pulled away and the cold hit her suddenly, drawing a gasp from her throat and tearing her eyes open.
The light blinded her and she fought not to close her eyes again, to focus, and to find the source of the voice. Finally accustomed to the light, she looked around but saw only trees, only wood.
Slowly, she stood.
Who had been talking to her? Where was he? She saw a path and walked toward it, stopping when she saw a flash of red and shock of silver flowing in the wind like a flag. 'What is that?' she wondered. She wanted to see it better, but it seemed blurred, as if it were in constant motion or as if it were out of focus. But regardless of how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to bring it into any sharper focus.
The head on the figure turned to look at her, but the light kept his face from being visible.
"Remember," he spoke, the voice close as if at her ear.
She found herself reaching out to him, afraid he would disappear. "Remember what?" she called out after him, not surprised she had found her voice after all.
She felt compelled to be near him, but when she took a step toward him, he moved and in a flash had run off down the path.
"Wait!" she called out, running after him. She lost sight of him over a horizon and had to double over to catch her breath. She felt the tears come to her eyes but didn't know why.
"Where are you?" she gasped. "Where did you go?" It didn't seem as important to know who he was anymore, so much as to keep him close…at least to see him.
"I will still be here," the voice said at her ear.
She turned to her left, but there was no one there. "As long as you hold me in your memories," the voice continued at her right.
She turned and he was there, standing a few feet from here, close enough to touch. She felt more tears well in her eyes. "I don't remember you," she confessed, looking into his golden eyes. "Help me."
His face looked sad, as if he wished he could do more. "Remember," he continued. "When your dreams have ended…" he took a step toward her, his hand reaching out as if he would touch her. "Time can be transcended…"
Suddenly, they were in the middle of a spanning plain of green and he was sitting on the lip of a wooden well.
"How?" she asked him. "How can it be transcended?" She shook her head, feeling the tears at the frustration of it all. She didn't know where they were. She didn't know who he was, but she knew he could help her…she knew she needed him. "I don't know how! Tell me, please!"
He cocked his head to the side. "Just remember me," he told her.
"I…" she wanted to remember, she tried, but that pain came like a tearing of her insides, so that she fell onto her knees. "…can't…" she whispered through the pain. "It hurts…" The tears came down her cheeks and although she tried to hold onto the desire to remember, waves of pain like fire burned over her and she found herself gasping for breath.
She saw his bare feet before her and fought with the pain to follow his red clad legs up to his beautifully sad face. He crouched down near to her and pointed to the stars which, even though the sun was out, were still visible. "I am the one star that keeps burning," he told her, so close but still not touching her. "So brightly…" He extended his hand to her and tentatively, she reached out and laid her hand in his. She was afraid the pain would increase, but it seemed to abate at his touch, as if his mere touch had the power to draw it away. He helped pull her up to her feet and the longer their hands touched, the further away the pain seemed to fade.
"It is the last light to fade into the rising sun," he continued. He looked deep into her eyes.
"I don't want you to go," she spoke before she could even wonder why. She knew only that she felt like he was saying goodbye and she didn't want that. With all of herself, she didn't want it.
His hand squeezed hers. "I'm with you," he assured. "Whenever you tell my story, for I am all I've done."
She shook her head. "I don't understand," she insisted. "I don't know your story…I don't…" she felt his hand fading from hers and although she tried to grasp at it, she couldn't. "I can't…" the pain started to return. "…remember." His hand was gone and when she blinked, so was he. "No!" she exclaimed. "Please!"
"Remember me," he whispered.
She could hear him but couldn't see him. Why? She looked around herself frantically; there were so many places to look, where should she go? Where should she start looking? She closed her eyes and caught a glimpse of him helping her out of a dark place into light, she remembered him standing before her to take a blow, and she remembered the sound of his laughter and the press of his lips, in flashes so fast that the pain came like an aftershock. And when it did come, she screamed and still, she remembered screaming for him, shivering in the cold. She fought the tears, fought the pain. "Where are you…" she whispered.
"I am that warm voice," he spoke next to her. "In the cold wind that whispers" His voice acted like a balm to soothe the pain but she still did not look up. "And if you listen…" she opened her eyes but he was not there. "You'll hear me call across the sky."
She closed her eyes against the flood of images – a dark sky dappled with stars, a crackling fire warming the cold away, the soft press of his back under her cheek and the feel of movement as his legs pumped them faster and faster across the tops of trees, the wind in their faces.
"As long as I still can reach out…"
She found herself leaning into his palm as he cradled her cheek. She was afraid to open her eyes and find that although she heard his voice and felt his touch he was not really there.
He had left her.
"…and touch you…" he continued.
She remembered the way his hair moved as he fell. She remembered the red of his blood as it blossomed on his chest like a flower opening to the sun and remembered thinking that it was a different color red than that of his haori—
She fought against the throbbing press of pain against her chest that was making it hard to draw in her next breath and as she opened her eyes, she remembered what it felt like to watch him die.
"Then I will never die," he said into her eyes.
She clutched at her stomach in the vain hopes that it would somehow ease the pain, wishing she could reach inside her and tear out what was causing it. "Liar," she gasped through the increasing pain. She looked up at him. "You…lied…" she gasped, grunting to keep from screaming. "…you…left…" she accused. "You…" unable to keep it anymore, she shrieked as the pain shred through her. "You died!" she exclaimed, the tears blinding her.
The pain crashed into her like a wave, drowning her in its depths, obliterating everything else around her and leaving her grasping at air and trying to fight her way out of it. The anger came with the pain this time, and the anger gave her something to hold onto, something to keep her steady as the pain crashed around her and she managed to open her eyes and find him holding her. "NO!" she screamed against the roar of the memory. "You left me!" she yelled, beating against his chest. "You left me!"
He brought his other hand to the other side of her face. "Remember…" he insisted quietly. "I'll never leave you."
The pain had receded again, leaving her breathless and exhausted. She knew it would be back. She knew his touch was temporary relief. And the anger was still there. The knowledge that he had left her alone to face this pain, to fight this without him…
She shook her head, fighting against his touch even as she knew it was a rare gift. "But you did," she whispered. "You did…"
"If you only…" he continued.
She stopped struggling, giving in to the warmth his touch brought. She brought her hands up to cradle his. "Don't…" she whispered.
"Remember me," he seemed to ask.
"Don't…" she repeated, trying to make her voice louder, but her body was going still again and she could not make it more than a breathy whisper.
"Remember!" he exclaimed, something like pain in his eyes.
As if he had willed it into her, she remembered a battle, fire, hands reaching for her, adrenaline, a body dying above her, his red blood mixing with hers, feeling his last gasps as he struggled to breathe…as he struggled to speak…
"I will still be here."
The pain was a dull ache now, no less painful for its lack of intensity. She swallowed. "Don't say goodbye…" she whispered.
"As long as you hold me…"
She tried to make her arms go around him, but they were too heavy and they fell useless at her sides.
"In your memories…"
He was standing in front of her but it was becoming difficult to hear him over the sound of her own heartbeat in her ears.
Images of him as he held her close, watched over her sleep, seeing him waiting for her, even angry and shouting flitted through her mind like they say your life is supposed to when you are about to die.
"When your dreams have ended…"
His eyes in the dark after a bad dream…
"Time can be transcended…"
His voice coming to her through the Goshinboku…
"I live forever…"
Before her, he was fading into a mist so that she could see only the shine in his eyes. She fought to make her body move, but it wouldn't.
The pain didn't matter anymore. She fought against it, trying to reach out to him and fighting the encroaching fog. She wanted to touch him, to hold him…she didn't want to lose him, but she wanted to forget him even less. She could no longer see anything but white and still she fought.
"Wait for me!" she exclaimed, but wasn't sure the words had made it passed her lips. "Don't leave me alone!"
"Remember…" she heard his voice like an echo.
"I will," she swore.
His voice faded with the rest of her vision and she reached out with everything she had, everything she was, screaming from deep inside her soul…
With You: Chapter 3
Consciousness came with movement: a flailing of limbs fighting off hands that sought to hold or comfort. She gasped, taking in deep lungfulls of air like one coming out of deep water. She opened her eyes and found the old woman trying to calm her. When she felt she could gather enough breath, she opened her mouth. "Inuyasha!" she gasped. "I saw Inuyasha!"
The woman stilled for a moment, enough for Kagome to sit up and push back against the wall of the hut. She looked around her, searching for something familiar but found nothing.
"Do you remember who you are?" the woman asked.
The question triggered everything and Kagome's head fell into her hands, the sobs wracking through her small frame. "I saw him die," she whispered when all that came were weak dry heaves. Had she cried before now? She couldn't remember. She lifted her head from her hands and looked down at them. "His blood…" she gasped. "These hands…" her hands started shaking. "He died in these hands…"
The old woman's gnarled fingers were on hers, trying to steady her. Kagome met her blue eyes, not like old people's eyes which were often covered in a thin film. No, the old woman's eyes were a clear blue. "Why?" she asked. "Why didn't I forget?"
The old woman reached for an earthenware cup next to her and pressed it into Kagome's hands. Kagome looked at her suspiciously. "Tea," the woman told her. "It will help calm you."
Kagome took the cup and focused on getting her hands to stop shaking enough to bring it to her lips without dropping it. After swallowing a few soothing sips, Kagome met the woman's eyes again and didn't feel the shaking from within anymore. "Why do I remember?" she asked again.
The woman seemed to think about it for awhile. "You were not meant to forget."
Kagome shook her head. "That makes no sense."
The woman nodded. "It is rare," she agreed. "So rare I have only experienced it once since my clan has made this brew."
"I don't understand…"
"Your feelings for each other," the woman tried to explain. "Are so strong, it allowed you to resist the magic." She turned a shrewd eye to Kagome. "What did you see?"
Kagome lowered her gaze. "I saw Inuyasha," she whispered, clutching at the cup and looking into its depths.
"And?" the woman prompted.
"He…he asked me to remember him."
"Have you experienced something like this before?"
Kagome thought. She thought about the time he spoke to her through Goshinboku when she was trapped on the other side of the well. She thought about the dreams she'd had since he had died where it seemed they were having conversations and that were not memories at all. She remembered feeling as if he were constantly with her, never leaving her. "Yes."
"That real?" the woman asked. "That vivid?"
Again, Kagome nodded. "Yes," she confirmed. "I dream of him every night and if I am still or meditating, it is always like that." She put the cup aside and leaned toward the woman. "What does that mean?" she asked, suspecting it was not normal. "Isn't it just memory?"
The woman looked serious. "No."
"Most people dream of their loved ones that they've lost and they remember moments from their past, they might remember previous conversations, the loved ones might come to say goodbye, but to have something like this…" the old woman shook her head. "This can only really mean one thing…"
Kagome looked at the woman, afraid to ask, afraid of what she would say.
The old woman looked at Kagome. "Can you not feel it, child?" Kagome felt many things but wasn't sure to which the woman referred. "He is your lover…" Kagome refrained from denying it or stating the specifics of their relationship. "Can you not feel that the other half of your soul is reaching out for you?" the woman asked, surprised.
She wouldn't allow her hopes to be raised. She wouldn't speak the one thought that had nested deep in her heart. She wouldn't tell that part of her pain came from feeling that she was wasting time, that he was waiting for her and she did not know how to reach him. "How can that be?" Kagome shook her head. "He's dead!" she felt the tears coming to her eyes again.
"No," the woman countered calmly. "He's not."
Kagome stood so abruptly that she somehow bumped the table and the cup of tea still on it toppled over and spilled, the smell of the herbs rising into the room. "That's not funny," she told the woman seriously. She looked around her, and started for the door. "I can't…" she couldn't even finish the thought.
"You are running from him, child," the old woman called after her. "And the dreams are his attempt to reach out to you…to tell you how to find him."
Kagome turned to the old woman and her eyes sparked fire. "Shut up!" she exclaimed. "I won't hear anymore of this!" she exclaimed. "I saw him die! I felt his heart stop!"
The old woman shrugged minimally. "I know nothing of the particulars, only that such a connection cannot be easily severed." The woman turned her back on Kagome and righted the over-turned cup. "Hear what you will, believe what you like."
Inside Kagome, the doubt blossomed. Sesshoumaru had taken Inuyasha's body. She knew that. He had not allowed them to bury him or give him rights. Miroku had performed a service before he was taken, but she did not see what was done to his body.
Why hadn't Sesshoumaru…?
She gasped and had to grab onto the side of the hut to keep her balance. Sesshoumaru…
The tears came to her eyes. Sesshoumaru and Tensaiga.
She darted out of the old woman's hut. Kilala looked up at her in silent question and without Kagome having to make a sound transformed into her large size.
Once on her back, Kagome leaned down against the fire-cat's soft fur and took a moment. She didn't know where Sesshoumaru lived. She didn't know where he had taken him! She was in such a state of pain that she had never even thought of it. How long had it been? Why hadn't he found her? There were too many questions in her mind and still, Kilala waited.
"Do you know where Inuyasha is, Kilala?" she whispered, a hand to her head. She was so confused. Why had she just accepted that he was dead? She had given up on him. She had become so lost in her grief that she had never once considered that anything else might have been going…
Her thoughts screeched to a halt as she felt the distinctive lack of gravity she always felt as Kilala pushed off the earth and took to the air. She looked up in surprise and found a look of pure determination on the fire-cat's face. Something like hope began to bubble up inside her. "Do you know where Inuyasha is, Kilala?" Kagome asked again. The fire cat turned her massive head to glance at her out of the corner of her eye before turning back to where she was going, her nostrils flaring.
"Find Sesshoumaru," Kagome told her. "Kilala, if you can, please," she paused to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Find Sesshoumaru!"
With You: Chapter 4
The large structure looked very much like any other lord's house they had come across, except this one was not near to any village and had a distinctive lack of activity going on in its outsides. Kagome searched frantically for any sign of life, any sign that someone was around that she could ask if this was the right place.
Kilala flew over the massive wooden gates and landed in a large courtyard. Kagome saw nothing except the entrance to what was apparently the main house. That was her target. She walked toward it only to find Kilala suddenly before her and growling. She looked around the large protective fire-cat to see people approaching, some of them obviously soldiers and holding weapons.
"Identify yourself!" the soldier demanded.
"Subdue the fire-cat," another soldier exclaimed.
There was suddenly movement everywhere and Kilala tensed, ready to defend herself and Kagome. Kagome stepped out from behind Kilala, arms outstretched in a non-offensive manner, the tears still fresh on her cheeks.
"I am Kagome…I am searching for Sesshoumaru-sama…he has…he has…" she couldn't finish the thought, the tears choking her throat so that she could not speak.
"The stench of you is enough, woman," a haughty almost angry voice reverberated around them. The soldiers blocking the entrance to the house parted as if they had practiced it and Kagome saw the tall imposing figure of Sesshoumaru standing before her. "Can you not refrain from adding the stench of your tears?" he finished.
Kagome fell on her knees and the tears broke free in torrents. She had found him! He was here! Soon she would know one way or the other. Perhaps it had been a fleeting hope, but now she would know…
"Kagome-sama…" a small, childish voice spoke, very close to her. She felt a cool, small hand gently touch the side of her face and childishly prod her to raise her head. Kagome found herself unable to resist and looked up into the empathy laden eyes of the small child Sesshoumaru traveled with. "Rin-chan doesn't like to see Kagome-sama sad…" the little girl spoke again. "Do you hurt somewhere?"
The tears pricked at her eyes even more, but looking into the little girl's face, so soft and trusting and sad because she was sad, Kagome found the strength to hold the tears back. "Yes, Rin-chan," Kagome spoke, her voice coming harsh from the crying. "I hurt," she told her, trying to smile, and lifting a hand to touch Rin's that was still touching her face.
"Can Rin-chan fix it?" Rin asked innocently.
Kagome swallowed hard and shook her head. "I don't think so, Rin-chan…"
Anxious, Rin turned to look at Sesshoumaru. "Sesshoumaru-sama…please fix Kagome-sama!" she declared. "She hurts."
The innocent trust with which Rin spoke brought a choked sob out of Kagome, but she held back from further crying.
"You are not hurt physically, woman," Sesshoumaru spoke. "Stand and follow me," he demanded, dispersing the people that had still hung around them with a wave of his hand.
"Come, Kagome-sama," Rin insisted, taking Kagome's hands in hers and tugging at them, trying to smile. "Sesshoumaru-sama will fix you now…come!"
Kagome took in a deep breath and with one hand on the ground below her, pushed herself up and managed to stand. She looked up and found Sesshoumaru still waiting at the doorway, just barely containing a look of frustration. When Kagome started moving in his direction, Sesshoumaru moved on into the house leaving Kagome to follow him.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, I've come to…" Kagome started, still clasping Rin's hand as they walked through the extensive hallways and rooms of the very traditional house.
"I know why you've come, human," Seshhoumaru spoke calmly, never losing step.
He finally stopped outside one door and turned to glance at her over his shoulder. "That is far enough, Rin," he spoke, the frustration gone from his voice as he spoke to the little girl. "You may go to your quarters now."
Kagome looked down, almost as if surprised to find Rin still holding onto her hand, but even more surprised to realize how tightly she was holding onto Rin's hand herself. Rin looked as if she were considering asking Sesshoumaru if she could continue into the room, almost sorry that she couldn't help Kagome any more.
Kagome half wished that Sesshoumaru had allowed Rin to walk with her into the room, she would need any warmth she could get with whatever she had to face in the other room, but she knew Sesshoumaru was right. If on the other side of those walls she would face what she feared she would face, then Rin had best not witness it.
She brought her other hand to Rin's cheek and smiled tenderly at her. "Thank you, Rin-chan," Kagome told her softly. "You have helped me so much by coming with me here."
Rin's eyes grew bright with the praise. "Rin-chan doesn't like to see Kagome-sama sad," she repeated.
"Thank you for that, too, Rin-chan," Kagome tenderly caressed Rin's cheek and slowly let go of her hand. With her now free hand, she wiped at the tears that had lingered on her cheeks. "But if Sesshoumaru-sama is to help me, I must go in that room alone…"
"I understand," Rin spoke, smiling a little at Kagome. "See you soon, Kagome-sama!" she exclaimed as she walked down the corridor in the opposite direction that they had come.
Kagome turned back to Sesshoumaru and squared her shoulders, physically, if not mentally, preparing herself for what might be beyond the doors.
Seeing her look of resolve, Sesshoumaru slid the door open and stepped aside, waiting for her to enter the room first.
Kagome could see nothing from where she stood except the expanse of room lit by what appeared to be natural light.
Inuyasha was inside there, she knew it.
Still, she did not move.
This is what she wanted…to know, one way or another, and although her head knew this was true, her legs failed to move her forward.
What if he were laying there in death shrouds, prepared for whatever burial ritual the Dog Clan performed on their kin? Walking into that room would confirm that he was gone from her forever. It would confirm that she had, in fact, lost him. And if he were still dead, then not even Sesshoumaru's Tensaiga had been able to save him and even that last glimmer of hope would be torn from her.
After all, if he were alive, wouldn't he have come to her? Wouldn't he have found her and let her know that he was alright? He would…she knew he would. So the old woman had to be wrong…he had to be dead. And stepping into that room would confirm it beyond all hope.
She felt it as her heart stopped beating. It wasn't a painful feeling, not really. It was more like the feeling you get when you've lost your balance. The feeling that steels through you in that split instance just before you start falling, when you know that there's nothing you can do to stop your momentum. The moment when you realize you just might die.
She didn't register that Sesshoumaru was still staring at her. She didn't realize that she didn't have to walk into the room at all, that all she really had to do was open her mouth and ask Sesshoumaru. He might not tell her, but at least it would be something. And yet, she couldn't seem to remember how to open her mouth or how to make the sound come out.
But the truth that she did realize eventually was that she didn't really want to know. If she could keep thinking that maybe… maybe he was alive somewhere…maybe something had gone on that she hadn't thought about that had kept him alive or brought him back to life. She could wonder why he hadn't found her; she could wonder what had happened to him. If she could just hold on to that, then maybe, just maybe he would someday find her. She would come home from school one day and find him playing with Buyo or waiting impatiently for her to return with him or he would stroll imposingly through the door to Kaede's hut and wonder aloud why everyone was sitting around like there wasn't anything evil to fight against anymore.
Standing there, steps away from the doorway, just shy of being able to look inside the room, she felt that even not knowing, always wondering, sometimes blaming him for not finding his way back to her, always hoping was better than whatever horrible truth waited for her in that horribly quiet room. At least then she wouldn't have to face it…face his prone, lifeless body or the truth that he was never going to be brash and demanding and rude and shy and tender and protective. Standing there, she could believe that anything was better than knowing for certain that he was never going to find her. With the not knowing there was always hope.
She almost turned around and walked away, content to live in the unknown. But she knew she couldn't turn back now, not really. She knew she would never be able to face herself or any of her friends ever again if she stood this close to the truth and turned her back on it. She could not turn her back on truth, not even for the benefit of hope. If he was in that room, she had to face him. He deserved that much from her. Even if it would kill a piece of her to say goodbye.
Kagome closed her eyes to keep the tears from falling and could see the imprint of Inuyasha behind her eyes, holding his hand out to her and helping her breathe passed the pain, just like in her dream and in the vision.
Inhaling a deep breath, Kagome forced her legs to move.
With You: Chapter 5
"Remember, when you're dreams have ended, time can be transcended…just remember me."
The words he spoke in her vision suddenly came back to her, clear as if he had whispered them at her ear and only the memory of the vision kept her strong enough to stand at the sight of the futon in the middle of the bare room. She knew that subconsciously she wasn't registering the sight of him lying there, she wasn't really looking at it, but she knew that he was lying there, very still…too still to be merely sleeping. Even if her head was trying to spare her the sight, her heart knew it and it cried out.
Somehow, her legs continued to carry her until she was standing next to the futon, until she could look down and see the soft silver strands of his hair spread out around his head.
Her eyes closed of their own accord before her courage could make her focus on his face. Slowly, much slower than she thought she would have enough control to, she lowered herself onto her knees.
The tears traveling silently down her cheeks, Kagome finally opened her eyes, blinked a few times, and focused on his beautiful face. If she would have been thinking clearly, she might have wondered why she didn't feel as much despair as she would have at seeing Inuyasha laying there so still and like death.
He looked so peaceful…so like sleeping, only he wasn't breathing…
Kagome started as she thought she saw his chest move, but no…surely it was no more than the appearance of life, like she had seen on many occasions when at a wake and you stared too much at the dead. She lifted her hand and found herself trying to keep it from shaking as she reached out to him. Inches away from touching his chest, she felt a feeling that she felt only whenever she was near him…that almost imperceptible pull of his aura, the way his very nearness had always sent almost physical electricity through hers. She pulled her hand back as if it really had been electrocuted and all pretense of control left her.
"Inuyasha?" she whispered, looking at him in pure shock. She reached for him and put both hands on his shoulders, shaking him. "You're still alive, damn you! I can feel it! Wake UP!" she exclaimed, not caring if Sesshoumaru would chide her for the way she was acting. Not caring if she looked crazy for insisting that he was alive…she could feel it. She would not feel his aura, his energy like that if he wasn't alive, no matter what he looked like or if she couldn't hear his heartbeat.
When her physical shaking of him produced no results, she turned wild, frantic eyes to Sesshoumaru. "Why didn't you tell me he was alive?" she demanded. "Can't you tell he's alive!"
Sesshoumaru nodded calmly. "I can," he answered.
"Damn you!" Kagome exclaimed angrily. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"If you were truly the priestess you were supposed to be, the one who could wake him, the one who had woken him once before, you would be able to tell without anyone telling you."
"A test!" she exclaimed, standing up and walking over to him. "At this time you put me through a test, you bastard!"
"This Sesshoumaru owes you no explanation, human…" he answered without so much as a blink. "However, if you must know, I attempted to revive him with Tensaiga and this was the result…no one has been able to wake him, though he is still living, and a wise woman informed us that only she who holds the other half of his soul…she who has woken him from this deathless slumber once before, could wake him now."
"Why didn't you find me if you thought it was me!" she continued to demand, pacing around the room. "Why did you let me believe he was dead, even when you were going to try to revive him with Tensaiga?"
"My brother, however he was begot, belongs here," Sesshoumaru answered. "If he had no recollection of you or your human friends, he would have remained where he belongs."
Kagome looked at Sesshoumaru as if he had grown two heads. "You planned to control him?"
"I planned to offer him more than he should have as the son of a human, woman, do not question me," he answered. He waved dismissively to Inuyasha's body. "You have found him, he is here, now wake him if you can."
He was right, as much as she hated to admit it. She was wasting time blaming Sesshoumaru when she also could have found him if she had only tried instead of allowing herself to sink in despair for fear of facing the truth. Kagome walked back to Inuyasha's body and sat on her legs next to him, exhaling in an attempt to calm herself enough to think of how to reach him. 'How can I reach you, Inuyasha?' she asked in her mind.
'I'm with you, whenever you tell my story…'
She remembered the words he spoke to her in her vision with the old woman and a thought occurred to her. The old woman had said he tried to reach her when she meditated or was in sleep. Well…what if she tried to reach him back?
Settling into a comfortable version of the lotus position, Kagome focused on her breathing, trying to calm herself enough to enter into a state of meditation, all the while, calling out his name in the deep recesses of her mind.
As always, the moment she entered the calm state she needed for meditation was like a soft release, like letting go of weights and feeling free.
'Inuyasha, where are you?' she asked, trying to focus her meditation. 'I remember you and I'm here, beside you, trying to reach you.'
'I'm with you, whenever you tell my story…'
She remembered the words he spoke to her again and thought about his story. Their story. She remembered the first time she saw him against the tree and their first real
conversation, when she was bathing for the first time in the stream while Kaede had set her own clothes to dry. She remembered the warmth that spread through her even then when she realized he was watching her. She remembered the feel of his warmth close to hers in the deep night when she couldn't sleep, listening to his voice as they spoke quietly so as not to wake the others. She remembered waking up after a disturbing dream and opening her eyes to slits, sleep still claiming half of her and feeling safe just by seeing him watching over her.
'I remember you…'she told him, feeling the tears come to her eyes even if she was still in meditation. 'I will always remember you…'In her meditation, she thought she saw Inuyasha standing far away, his back turned to her. 'Inuyasha!'she called to him. She began to run to him, but he didn't seem to be getting any closer and it didn't appear that he could hear her. 'Inuyasha! You swore you wouldn't leave me! Come back to me!'
Slowly, Inuyasha started to turn, as if he heard his name from very far away. Kagome tried to run faster, cover more distance, get to him sooner, and suddenly, as he turned, it was as if he were mere inches away from her. 'Come back with me!' she told him, the tears falling in earnest now.
He blinked and seemed to see her, beginning to extend a hand to her. 'Ka…gome?' he spoke on a whisper.
Kagome felt the joy overwhelm her and she reached out for him, but suddenly she was being pulled back away from him again and his eyes became alarmed and he moved to reach further, and although she tried to run again, she couldn't stop from being pulled back.
'Kagome!' he yelled.
Kagome felt herself slipping out of the meditation. 'Follow me back! Come back!'she called out to him. 'I'm here! I'm wai…'
She came to herself with a jolt and looked immediately to find Inuyasha's body as still as he had been. The anguish rolled over her and she allowed herself to fall forward to rest her head on his chest. She clutched at his clothes and sobbed. "I failed you, Inuyasha," she whispered through the tears. "I'm sorry… I failed you…I'm sorry…"
Kagome stilled. Did she feel a movement? As if in answer to her silent question, she felt a touch on the top of her head, heavy but warm. Almost afraid to look, afraid to move and find that it was really all her imagination and she had finally gone crazy, she closed her eyes and relished in the feel that remained and even moved in an attempt at a comforting gesture.
"Don't…" came a harsh, hoarse voice that could have been Inuyasha's. Kagome's eyes flew open and her head turned under his hand to look up at his face. His eyes were still closed, but as she watched, they fluttered open, and unable to stay open, fluttered closed, but she saw his throat swallow, trying to get enough saliva in his throat to speak again. "…don't…cry…" he spoke again, his mouth opening and moving right before her eyes.
Suddenly, there was a pitcher with water pressed into her hand and she didn't even question where it came from, simply took it and tried to press a little of it into his mouth. He took a few sips, and tried to open his eyes again, but winced at the light and they closed again and just like that, the room faded into semi-darkness as someone, somewhere, closed the light from the windows.
"Inuyasha…" Kagome called aloud, still crying, still holding the glass with water.
For a third time, his eyes tried to open and finding the room dark enough, managed to stay open and Kagome got to see the golden eyes once again. The pupils were large, too large for him to be focusing on her properly, but he was there…he was warm under her touch and she heard his voice! His eyes opened and responded to her call and he was there! Kagome's free hand touched the side of his face, pushed away the hair at his temples, felt the warmth returning to his body as if afraid that if she stopped touching him, he would fade away from under her. But even if she didn't touch him, he was still touching her, wasn't he? His hand was still touching her, now at her back.
He took some more of the water Kagome pressed against his lips, his eyes never leaving hers. "You…" he tried to speak. He swallowed hard, "…heard me." Kagome nodded and touched his face, as if surprised to find he was really there, really talking to her. "I was in a dark place," he spoke, his voice coming easier to him, albeit still a little hoarse and quiet. "I just kept calling you and you heard me…" he looked at her as if in awe.
Kagome pressed her lips to his lightly and smiled at him as if she had just been given the keys to the universe. "I will always hear you…" she spoke through the tears of happiness.
He looked around himself as he tried to sit up and Kagome helped him. "Where the hell am I?" he asked.
Kagome couldn't help it, she laughed. She motioned to Sesshoumaru who still stood silent and still by the windows of the room. "Take a guess."
Inuyasha found the eyes of his brother across the room and frowned. "Aw, shit."
"I see death has not affected your eloquence one bit, little brother," Sesshoumaru spoke, walking toward them.
"Death?" he looked at Kagome. "I died?"
Kagome looked at him and hugged him impulsively. "You did."
Inuyasha took a moment to press her weakly to him, closing his eyes and relishing in the feel of her heartbeat pressing against his chest, the smell of her that he had searched so hard for.
"This Sesshoumaru used Tensaiga to revive your body," Sesshoumaru explained from where he stood. "But your half human soul was apparently too weak to travel back from the limbo into which it was thrust by itself."
Inuyasha looked at Sesshoumaru over Kagome's shoulder, never loosening his grip of her. The look shared between brothers was half thankful, half surprise, and half searching. It was everything that their voices would never utter.
Sesshoumaru nodded slightly in silent acknowledgement of the unspoken gratitude and stepped away from the wall. "You apparently needed the call of your human wench to bring you all the way back," Sesshoumaru continued, his voice never changing tone. "You really are weak…"
Inuyasha and Kagome parted, both feeling the immediate instinct to respond to Sesshoumaru's cold words.
"Don't you even remind me about the fact that you knew that Inuyasha was alive all this time and didn't come to find me, Sesshoumaru," Kagome threatened. "I may be human, but trust me; you don't want to mess with me right now."
"All this time?" Inuyasha asked, turning to look at Kagome. "How long was I gone?"
Kagome blushed and looked almost immediately reticent.
"A full lunar cycle has passed since you were killed in battle," Sesshoumaru answered.
"A month!" Inuyasha exclaimed, glaring at Kagome. "You waited a whole month to find me!" He narrowed his eyes at her. "What did you do, forget about me or something?"
Kagome thought about how she went to the old woman in order to do that very thing, hoping that it would ease her pain somehow and blushed a bright red, then offered up a wry grin. "You wouldn't let me," she answered.
"Damn right, I wouldn't let you…" he answered on a huff, trailing off as an idea occurred to him. "Does that mean you actually triedto forget me!" he asked, an air of offense rising through him.
Kagome looked suitably guilty. "I was crazy with grief," she offered as an excuse.
"That's no excuse!" he insisted. He pushed the blankets he had been under away from him with something like disgust and looked down at himself and the clothing that Sesshoumaru and his people had obviously put him in. He looked up at her accusingly. "Look at what he put me in!" he demanded. "Did you have to let Sesshoumaru take me!" he pressed obviously displeased at the notion.
The tender moment of relief at finding him alive was slowly giving way to their usual method of showing affection and Kagome felt her ire rising at his demands, enough so that she leaned away from him and crossed her arms as a sign of her anger. "What was I supposed to do to stop him, you idiot?" She glared at him. "Bleed on him and hope that he was afraid of blood?"
"You could've at least kept me at Kaede's village, I would prefer to be there than to be…"
"Dead?" Kagome countered sarcastically.
"Well…" he hedged.
"You're such an arrogant baka!" she exclaimed. "I've been worried sick over you, I almost died and you're arguing with me because Sesshoumaru was the one who used Tensaiga on you!" she demanded. "I should've just left you here and…"
Her words were stilled by the press of Inuyasha's lips against hers. Instinctively, Kagome melted into the kiss.
"You almost died?" Inuyasha asked as the broke it off.
Kagome nodded and felt the tears come to her eyes again. "I thought about it…"
"You remembered me," he told her, smiling. "You really did."
She pressed her lips to his once again and embraced him in a fierce hug. "I did…" she mumbled, muffled against his chest. "Not even magic could ever make me forget you," she told him. She pushed back away from him to look into his eyes. "That's a promise…" She rose an eyebrow. "But don't leave me again, kay?"
Inuyasha grinned lopsidedly at her. He crushed her to him in another hug, wishing he could get her even closer still. "I never left you in the first place…baka…" he told her tenderly.
At the mild insult, Kagome fought his hold in order to counter, but his arms stayed like steel around her and eventually, she gave up and put her own arms around him, pressing him just as close, relishing in the steady sound of his heartbeat under her ear. "Baka…" she whispered.
"I heard that…" he replied lazily.
"Good," she mumbled back, the smile spreading even wider.
Neither of them noticed when Sesshoumaru left the room.
Special Fanfiction A/N: This was posted first of all on my account on deviantArt. Mostly because it's easier to post on there and primarily because this story was written as a response to a Kiriban Request made my jlfeclipse, one of my friends on the deviantArt community. So, yeah. It's been posted on there for a few days now. So if you're on dA and know me on there, this would've been repetitive to you. Sorry! For those of you who haven't read it on dA, well, I hope you enjoy it! I tell most people that the good thing about dA as well is that if they comment to the story, it's a lot easier for me to reply to them through there without having to do it through the posting of another chapter or without having to send a direct email. I can just reply on the thread! it's sweet!
Secondly, on dA I seperated it into several chapters and that's why you'll see the chapter divisions on here even though I didn't have to seperate them into chapters because ff . net actually took the formatting all together. So, yeah. That's it...this is all there is to this puppy. Hopefully, you'll all enjoy it and review and let me know if you did or not.
In case there are some new people and wonder what dA is, you can go to my pages on dA but copying and pasting this addy onto your browser address bar and removng the spaces.The whole http mess complete with colon and backslashes, then: emania . deviantart . com (Pretty simple, ne?)
Copy/Paste of A/N on dA: in case anyone's interested (and because I feel like copying Del's wonderful idea) and because this fic especially was dependent on inspirational music so much, here's the playlist for this whole story:
Remember Me, Josh Groban
Save Me, Jem (not the cartoon "& the Hollagrams" one... )
I've Got To See You Again, Norah Jones
Broken, Amy Lee & Seether
I Don't Know, Celine Dion
My December, Linkin Park
Protection, Massive Attack
Scully's Theme, Mark Snow, from the X-Files, "Within (8x01)"
Deliver Me, Sarah Brightman
Don't Fear The Reaper, Gus
You Will Be My Ain True Love, Allison Kraus
Lonely No More, Rob Thomas