Disclaimer- Nope, Inuyasha still belongs to Rumiko Takashi.
Sometimes, Inuyasha thinks, Fate has turned him into its whipping boy.
There was really no other way to explain exactly why life treated him like its bitch.
He wonders if he should try and talk, say something. He decides not to.
After all, it could make things worse, if that were possible.
His time is whiled away doing nothing.
After all, he's been moving, constantly having his life in upheaval, that doing nothing should be quite refreshing.
Its strange, being the observer. In his other life (strange how he calls it that), he had been the aggressor, the instigator, the catalyst. Full of life.
Now, now he is emptied of fire and filled with the wears of time. It doesn't show, oh no, not like Sango or Miroku or Shippo or Kouga or Kohaku or, or, or. There are too many or's.
In any case, they all grayed and wearied and died.
They all died.
But not him.
Inuyasha likes to watch. Always has.
Watching lets him understand things.
He watches as men begin their inevitable triumph over demons. He watches as his forest is burnt down, his village becomes a city and then a bastion of shimmering steel and glaring glass.
He sees the cruelties of men, the ravages of war, watches as blood flows free in the streets. He sees suffering and despair and annihilation.
Once upon a time, he might have tried to help.
But then again, once upon a time, he had loved a woman and knew the meaning of friendship.
Sesshomaru watched too. The brothers crossed paths every now and then.
Sesshomaru knows its futile to fight. Inuyasha doesn't care to.
Inuyasha finds he doesn't care about a lot of things anymore.
Neither ever talks for long, in fact, talk is rare. Instead, they merely know that there is still one more person who remembers.
It is a fragile comfort in a world of rapid change.
Such things are very, very rare now. So much so that the two will tolerate even each other.
He watches her grow up. It is a sweet torture. He sees her smile and laugh and cry. She grows too fast, he thinks. Or perhaps too slow.
One time, he dares to come close.
She is playing in the street. Something he has come to understand is dangerous.
A screeching creation of metal and machine barrels toward her.
It would be so fast, a blink in the existence he has lived.
He cannot bear it, and for a moment, he comes to life.
With speed he had forgotten he possessed, he snatches her from the brink of death.
She looks at him, and for a moment, he forgets he has lived for so long and she has lived for so little.
Everything feels right.
"Thank you," she whispers softly, in the wonderful innocence of a child.
Then he remembers that her innocence will be stolen, her wonderful light gone in the blink of time.
He drops her roughly and leaves, feeling as though he had died again.
They had triumphed, despite all the odds, despite Moryoumaru, despite Naraku.
They had accomplished a lot, their little group.
Of course, triumph has tragedy in the way that day has night.
The completed Shikon no Tama lay in Kagome's crimsoned palm, and she smiled at him with bloodied teeth and fading eyes.
She was always smiling.
He lay next to her, his own chest weeping blood for her and him. He reached for her, but it was as though that small, meager distance was a thousand miles.
He tried, and tried, but could not touch her.
And it was then that she spoke those words that would be his curse.
In a flash of terribly warm pink light, the Shikon no Tama vanished, and he was whole again.
He laughed, and looked towards Kagome.
She didn't move, and that smile on her face was an eternal taunt.
He cried then, and never cried again.
It wasn't till later he understood the full cruelty of the Shikon no Tama, understood that even with such a pure soul as Kagome or an innocent wish of a dying woman to her love, the jewel could not, would never be used for good.
Miroku might have guessed that day, but only near the twilight of his years, with Sango already waiting for him on the other side, did he finally voice what Inuyasha feared.
That the Shikon no Tama had done as Kagome wished. Granted him life... forever. He would never die.
At first, he helped the villagers, watched over the children that Sango and Miroku had, that he had always been jealous of.
And he was happy... for a while. Yet time passed, and they too, went into death, while he stayed behind.
Always, he stayed behind, and was denied death.
He supposed it was cruel of him to have wanted Kikyo to live, if this was the fate of those who survived.
She had gone down into death too, in a way it pained him to remember until it dwindled into a simple thought, as easily recalled and dismissed as previous meal.
All of them, even Kagome's death, stopped hurting eventually.
And Inuyasha had plenty of eventually's.
One of the cruelest facts about being immortal was that Inuyasha remembered everything.
Kagome's smile, the sound of Sango slapping Miroku, Shippo crying for Kagome, all of it was as easily recalled as though it were yesterday.
Inuyasha was sick of yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's. He wonders which of them he loathes the most.
So it was that he knew the near exact moment that his curse had been placed upon him, and Kagome passed into death.
Briefly, he remembers considering hating her for this.
Yet he finds that you just can't hate someone who's been dead to you for over five hundred years.
On a whim, he comes to her house within a blink of time to him, and finds her mother still waiting as though nothing had gone wrong.
Yet something in the subtle shake of her hands, the tremors in her voice, tells him that she already knows.
But she greets him with the same cheerfulness, and asks for Kagome.
He considers lying.
And discards it. Lies are for those with something to protect. And he has nothing.
He simply tells her that her daughter was selfless to the end.
She understands, and only cries when he leaves.
Inuyasha knows she'll get over it eventually, live on, and die.
That's how everything went. That's how it always ended.
Birth, life, death. Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
It never mattered in the end whether someone was evil like Naraku or good like Kagome.
They all were born, lived, and died.
Except him, of course.
He has plenty of tomorrow's, and not enough yesterday's.
Inuyasha decides that he hates tomorrow the most.