Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. What a pity.

He stood before it, the light shifting in beams through the soft brown branches and emerald leaves. His shoulder ached a phantom pain, but he ignored it with a frown. The bald spot where his body had practically become one with the tree spread before his eyes, a small hole marking where an arrow had connected him and the great wooden beast for fifty years.

Kikyo…

Her name sent rivulets of emotion through his soul, his eyes softening with sadness. When he had first met her, he had seen through her calm exterior to the sadness within. It prevented him from leaving her; this strange creature unknown to him full of sorrow at life. He found a connection of distant companionship through her that he didn't knew existed, and fell in love with the melancholy priestess.

Almost without thought, his thoughts turned to Kikyo's counterpart.

Kagome…

Those three syllables made him scowl slightly at the impertinence of the girl. She was so different from the women of this time… and from Kikyo. It was almost impossible to imagine that Kagome was indeed Kikyo's reincarnation. And yet, he had fallen in love with this compassionate being without even realizing it. It was as if everyone around him had seen it first before he could have ever acknowledged it; if not for the observations of others, he may never have seen it himself.

No Kagome was definitely not like Kikyo. Where Kikyo had brazen beauty, Kagome's looks slowly grew on him.

He smirked to himself. Perhaps because of her stark resemblance to Kikyo… I just didn't want to see her as attractive…

While Kikyo was determined to have him change into a human, Kagome was content with him being… himself.

Kikyo is sorrow.

Kagome is happiness.

Kikyo is strong as a priestess.

Kagome is weak.

Kikyo wants me dead.

Kagome wants….

He looked up at the branches, watching as small batches of sunlight blinded him just to shield him as the beams of sunlight filtered lazily through the leaves. He closed his eyes, knowing full well what Kagome wanted.

Kagome… wants to be with… me. Alive.

His heart twisted in his chest; his face relaxed. A familiar scent reached his sensitive nostrils and a smile curved its way onto his lips.

Opening his eyes to look once more up at the massive tree, Inuyasha glanced at the bald spot he had created over the span of fifty years. His eyes involuntarily found their way to the small hole the arrow had created after Kikyo had shot him.

Kikyo was his past. He would always love her.

He turned slightly and began to walk away, following the scent that was tantalizing his olfactory senses; he had someone to meet at the well, and no past reminiscing could keep him from her. His Kagome.

Love is a many splendid thing.