Chapter 1: InuYasha and Kikyou
Kagome let out a sigh as she leaned her back against Goshinboku. It was great to be able to relax for awhile. She and the rest of InuYasha's gang had been gone for over three weeks tracking down Naraku and some of the last remaining Shikon shards. Coming across Naraku a few days ago, they were able to finally put an end to his life, with many injuries and pains, but they were all still alive, and the Shikon no tama was nearly complete. She wrapped her fingers around the jewel and closed her eyes.
The villagers had greeted them warmly when they arrived. News had already reached back there that Naraku was gone. The first day back the villagers had made a huge feast for the group. InuYasha greedily accepted all the food he came into contact with, except of course anything that was too spicy. His human companions, too tired to really get into the celebration, just picked at the food they were given. Shippou had been like velcro that first day, hardly letting Kagome and Sango out of his sight. He was upset about being left behind, but InuYasha had made it clear that he was not to go, not with Naraku being so close to them at the time.
"Keh! What do you think you're doing, wench!" InuYasha jumped down from the lower branches of Goshinboku to Kagome's side.
"I'm trying to take a nap, InuYasha. I'm tired!" she once again closed her eyes, only to re-open them at a sudden jerk on her wrapped arm. "InuYasha!"
"Hush, wench." He unwrapped her forearm and inspected the wound Kagome received during the fight against Naraku. "Pathetic human. It's still too deep, get Kaede to look over it again."
"No, InuYasha, it's fine. I'll heal, just not as fast as you and your super hanyou blood." She replied, pulling her arm from the hanyou's grip. Figuring with him around she wasn't going to get her well deserved nap, Kagome sat up straighter against the bark of the tree. "How are you doing?"
"All healed up. Stupid Naraku. He nearly took one of my ears off." InuYasha flicked the ear for good measure. Kagome frowned. It did look pretty bad a few days before, but now it seemed to be back to normal. "When are you going back to your time?"
"I don't know. Later today, probably. I haven't been home in over a month. I know Moma and grandpa are getting worried." She looked over at InuYasha. His eyes seemed troubled. "Why? You need me to stay for something?"
He looked up into the branches of the tree. "No. I just thought you would want to go back and restock some of your supplies."
"Ramen. Okay, InuYasha, you win." She stood up and walked to Kaede's hut.
"You leaving, Kagome?" asked Sango. She and Miroku were packing to leave on their own trip. They were going to help rebuild villages left devastated by Naraku and take care of wondering youkai. Things seemed to move so fast now.
"Um hum. I haven't been home in weeks. Moma will probably be worried. Plus I'm tired and mister bossy over here won't let me sleep."
"Oi! You slept all day yesterday, lazy wench."
"I didn't sleep all day, InuYasha! And it wouldn't matter if I had; I deserve a break, baka." InuYasha stuck up his nose and crossed his arms.
After a few hugs and goodbyes from both parties, Kagome left the hut and headed for the well.
"When are you coming back?" InuYasha asked walking in stride behind Kagome.
"I… don't know. Tomorrow most likely."
"That soon? Keh! Usually you're wanting to stay for days!"
"And usually you don't want me to go at all! Why are you in such a rush to get rid of me InuYasha?"
"I'm not wench! I just thought you would want to get some sleep in your bed instead of the floor in Kaede's hut!"
"Well, still, I don't want to be gone too long." Her eyes shifted to the ground. "We still have something to finish,… you know?"
InuYasha stopped in his tracks. "Yea, I know."
"Do you know what you're going to wish when we finally finish?"
"Right. Well, I'll see you tomorrow then?" she grabbed her bag and leaped into the well.
InuYasha sighed as he watched Kagome disappear through the well. He didn't really want her to leave, and he knew he should have told her when she got suspicious. But she had to go back.
Kagome shouldn't be here when I go to see her. That would only make things worse. But I have to talk to Kikyo. I have to make her understand, I can't be with her, not anymore. I can't leave with her. She died a long time ago, and I kept my promise. I avenged her death with the death of Naraku.
Those thoughts continued through his head as a familiar sent came to him. "Kikyo…" Her soul collectors hovered above InuYasha's forest, beckoning him to follow.
Kagome climbed out of her side of the well feeling let down. She pulled her almost empty bag over her shoulder and headed toward the shrine door.
He wanted me to leave. I… I don't… sigh It's the jewel he wanted the whole time. It was never me, Kagome you baka! He told you that from the very start, it's your own fault your so heart broken.
Is that what she was? Heartbroken?
He could have taken the jewel plenty of times, he's way stronger than me. Maybe it is more than the jewel that he cares about.
She looked down at her arm, so carefully wrapped by the hanyou with bandages from her first aid kit. He had been the first one by her side after Naraku was dead. Half chopped up himself, he was more worried about her with a cut on her forehead and arm where one of Naraku's tentacles had sliced her. He had wrapped her in his haori and taken her to a clear room in Naraku's castle and tended to her wounds. They had all fought with all they had, and were completely worn out from the battle. Even InuYasha, with his hanyou strength, had suffered from tensions of the battle. He and Kagome had fallen asleep beside each other, his haori covering them both.
"Oh, Kagome! I was beginning to think you had forgotten about us!" came Mrs. Higurashi's call from the kitchen. She looked at her daughter and her eyes automatically scanned the wounds. "Kami! What happened?"
"It… it was Naraku, moma. He's gone, it's over now. The jewel it's… almost complete again." Kagome's tone was neutral.
"Well, that's good news! I would think you would be happy. Kagome? Is there something the matter?" her eyes were full of concern.
"No, moma. I'm just a little tired. We were traveling for the past few days and I didn't get much sleep last night."
"Oh. Well, in that case, I'll draw you a hot bath."
"Umm, that sounds nice."
"How long are you going to be here?"
"Only until tomorrow afternoon."
"InuYasha couldn't let you stay longer?"
"No, I need to go back. There's only a few jewel shards left, and the quicker it's gone the better." Her mother nodded.
"I'll get your bath ready."
He had told Kagome to stay in her time as long as she wanted, but if she said she would be back today than most likely she would. He had met with Kikyo the day before, right after Kagome left.
"You have defeated Naraku?"
"Then, the Shikon no tama, it is… nearly complete?"
"Have you decided what you are to do?"
"No. I… I.." InuYasha fidgeted nervously.
"I understand. You don't wish to become what you wanted before. You, you won't be coming with me?"
"No. I'm sorry, Kikyo…"
"Don't worry, InuYasha. I know you have moved on. You have kept your promise, and I release you from our bond."
"What will you do?"
"I do not know." Kikyo raised her eyes to meet the hanyou's. "I will return to you with my decision."
Then she was gone. He didn't want to hurt her, but he didn't want to leave with her either.
Kagome. She's… so different from Kikyo. They share the same soul, but… I could never trust Kikyo. Kagome, I've already trusted her with so much. I want to be with her. I always have.
He looked up to see Kikyo coming toward him with her soul collectors. She landed beside him and he waited for her to speak.
"I have decided to leave this plane. I am no longer living, and should not be among the living. And I want you to know that I do not do this for that girl of yours. I could care less what becomes of her. I do this for you." She raised her hand to caress InuYasha's cheek. He looked up at her with his amber eyes.
"So, I guess… this is goodbye?" he asked, his ears laying flat against his head.
"Yes, InuYasha. It is. Farewell, until we meet again." InuYasha nodded. He couldn't speak cause of the lump forming in his throat. Kikyo wrapped her arms around him, and he did the same. It seemed like forever he stood holding her, not ready to let her go, not wanting to lose her again.
Then he felt it. Just like always, the forest seemed to come to life as the miko re-entered through the well. A few seconds later he smelled the salt of her tears and sensed the upset. Baka!