Disclaimer: The characters of Inuyasha belong to Rumiko Takahashi. The song/poem Goodbye belongs to Alicia Keys (from the book Alicia Keys: Tears for Water). However, this story belongs entirely to me
Chapter One: Goodbye
There she is. Inuyasha scowled. What is she doing out here by herself? Where is Sango? He scanned the area for demons before settling down to watch the girl. It irritated him that the demon slayer had left the girl out here alone and unprotected. She better have a VERY good explanation for putting the miko at risk like this.
Quickly he leapt from his tree to one closer to Kagome. It was, of course, to keep a closer eye on her. It had nothing to do with the fact that he had been away from her for too long today and he missed her. Or her scent. Nope.
Crouching down on the branch he tried to see what she was doing. With a snort of disdain he put his arms behind his head and leaned back against the tree. More writing, he thought grumpily. She's always writing. What's so important about schoolwork anyhow? All it does is make her frustrated or mad. He looked down at her from his hiding place. But she didn't seem frustrated or mad. In fact, she seemed a little sad. Inuyasha's gaze narrowed dangerously as he glared at the paper she was writing on. Something was hurting her, and he was certain that it had something to do with what she was writing. Her scent, not that he noticed it but in passing, never lies.
Just as he was about to hop down and demand to know what was going on, and perhaps do a little paper shredding, Sango came into view. Suddenly he felt more like demon slayer shredding. How DARE she leave Kagome unprotected like that! What if he didn't happen to be around to keep an eye on her? Yeah, okay, that wasn't very likely, but Sango didn't know that!
"Feeling any better?"
Sango smiled sheepishly at the gently spoken question. "Yes, thank you." She sat down next to Kagome with her hand rubbing her stomach. "I think that the food in that last village was poisoned."
Kagome grinned and twirled her pen between her fingers. "And you laughed at me for saying I'd rather have Ramen."
With a laugh, Sango sat down on the ground and leaned backwards until she was laying on the grass beside her friend. "At least I fared better than Miroku."
"Yeah, he shouldn't have had seconds."
"A lesson in being greedy?"
Kagome laughed merrily. Inuyasha smiled. He supposed he could forgive Sango, just this once. The reminder of the poor shape that the monk was in caused him to grimace. No way was he going back into THAT hut again. Not for a very very long time. He wondered if maybe Kagome could bring back some of that disinfectant spray. Sure it smelled nasty, but it was better than the smell of sickness. Luckily it was Shippo was volunteered to watch after him.
Inuyasha stretched his muscles. He was getting tired of sitting still. Now that Sango was here to watch over Kagome, he would go for a short run. It was unlikely that anyone would want dinner, but the dog demon decided he should probably go hunt up something just in case.
"Read it to me again, Kagome."
Hunting could wait.
Kagome sighed as she flipped back through her papers until she found the one she was looking for. Her scent had changed again as she looked at the page, gone from happy to sad. He would be remiss in his job of protector if he didn't find out what was bothering her. Right? He wasn't eavesdropping, he was gathering information to enable him to protect Kagome better.
Kagome began to speak softly. She spoke of loving someone that hurt her so bad, though his intentions had only ever been good. "But how do I let go when I loved him for so long I've given him all that I could?" She told how love might be a hopeless crime and asked "What went wrong with something once so good?"
Inuyasha's heart clenched and his lungs quit working. Who hurt her? Was it me? Loved? Who? Hopeless? What went wrong? Frantically he began to search his memory for something he may have done for her to think it was hopeless.
Sure he wasn't as forward as Miroku, but then again, who was? But she knew how he felt, what was in his heart. He only told her in a zillion different ways. Okay, so maybe he never actually said the actual words, but she was smart. She had to know! She had to have figured it out by now. So how could she possibly think that it was hopeless? It made no sense!
And what does she mean by letting go?
Her soft voice asked how to find the words to say goodbye when her heart didn't have the heart to say goodbye.
No. No. He did NOT just hear that. He did not just hear her saying that she was going to tell him goodbye. It was impossible! She swore that she would stay with him! She promised! What could have made her change her mind? He felt sick.
Kagome said that she knew that she was naive and didn't know where "this", whatever "this was", would lead. She called him a good man, and asked how she could let go when she loved him for so long. "What went wrong with something once so good?"
His claws dug into the tree. What had gone wrong? What had he done? How can she even CONSIDER letting me go? The worst part was that she wasn't even blaming him for anything, she was saying that he was a good man. At least if she had railed against him he could have tried to argue with her and change her mind.
He could have fought for her. For them!
And why was she saying "let go" again? She couldn't give up on them. She couldn't! Keh, she may try letting go, Inuyasha thought angrily, but I'm not letting her go! And considering how much stronger he was than her…
"How do you find the words to say to say goodbye, when your heart don't have the heart to say to say goodbye"
It was difficult to keep from growling. She wasn't going to go. That was all there was to it. She wasn't leaving. He would turn the well into a pile of splinters if he had to and burn them ashes. She was NOT saying goodbye to him. Not EVER.
His heart hurt so badly he wondered if it had literally broken in his chest. Would she hate me if I kept her against her will? Could I live with her hating me? He closed his eyes against the pain. He wasn't sure if he could live with that. But he knew for certain that there was no way that he could live without her.
Kagome asked if it was the end. Her voice strained as she said how hard it was to just let go of the one and only love she had ever known.
Before he saw the tears he could smell them. His guts twisted painfully. What did I do? His grip on the tree tightened to keep himself from jumping down and stealing Kagome away. He had to think. He had to do something to keep her. Swearing silently he tried to figure out what he was going to do.
His ears drooped. She wasn't mad. Anger he could deal with. They would yell, he would get sat, her mood would improve, and things would go on the way they always did. She might leave, but she would always come back. That's the way things worked.
She repeated the words of how hard it was to say goodbye when her heart didn't have the heart to say it.
He could actually hear the teardrop hitting the paper. But it was the tiny little sniffle that caused his heart to stop. If only I could remember what I did.
"That was beautiful," the traitorous demon slayer said with a wistful sigh.
Inuyasha glared at her. Beautiful? BEAUTIFUL? The words that were tearing his life into tiny shreds and killing him in the most brutal way possible were BEAUTIFUL? How could Sango say that? It was practically the same as encouraging Kagome to leave him! Were they all in this? Did they all want to keep Kagome away from him?
"Goodbye," Kagome said softly, as if the word wasn't destroying him.
That was IT!
The miko opened her mouth to say something else, but it ended up merely being a wooshing sound as the air escaped out of her lungs. That thing tends to happen when a hanyou swoops out of nowhere and throws a girl over his shoulder to jump into the treetops away from heartless demon slayers.
Inuyasha felt Kagome's heart race as she peered waaaay down at the ground.
"What is WITH you?" she demanded in a strained whisper. Inuyasha was sure that she meant to scream it, but her little trip up made her a little breathless.
"Goodbye?" The word was filled with venom and accusation. "Goodbye?" He landed roughly onto a sturdy branch and set Kagome away from him, worried that the extreme stress would cause the demon inside of him to do something unforgivable. "You're not leaving me, Kagome!"
"You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me."
He could have sworn that the miko's lips twitched, flirting with a smile. But surely she wouldn't be smiling while she ripped his heart from his chest. Though she almost looked amused while she made herself a little more comfortable on the tree branch. Her eyes sparkled merrily, which confused him. He had never thought of her as sadistic before. Well, maybe sometimes when she was really mad and the number of 'sits' went well into the double digits, but that was completely different.
After a blue streak of curses, Inuyasha finally growled out, "I heard you, Kagome. I heard you say you were going to leave me."
"Hmmm…" She put her finger thoughtfully to her chin. "I don't recall saying that I was leaving you, Inuyasha."
The growling stopped and he lowered his hand, after being slightly startled that he had been pointing at her accusingly. "How do I find the words to say goodbye?" he quoted, not quite able to conceal the slight crack in his voice.
The amusement disappeared from her eyes immediately. His heart fell once more as she leaned forward with a serious look on her face. This was it. She was going to try to leave him. "Try" being the operative word. He had no doubt that it would be a battle to keep her, but he was Inuyasha, and he would not give up without a fight.
And this was the most important fight of his life.
"Inuyasha," she started gently, "My grades in school have been rather… well… bad. I've missed so many classes that I'm starting to fail. If I fail, then they will keep me back and I will have to repeat the grade."
"Repeat it?" He wanted to shake her until her teeth rattled to get her back to the discussion of her attempting to leave him, but he figured that would be a little counterproductive at this point. He prayed to the gods for the patience for her to get back on the subject.
"Yeah. It means that all the work I did this year for school will count for nothing, and I will have to do it all over again next year. It also means that instead of graduating in two years, I'll be graduating in three."
His ears drooped. It was my fault after all. "If I had let you go to more classes then you wouldn't be…"
Her fingers touched his lips, silencing him instantly. "I can work hard and catch up. Most of my teachers are letting me test out of the class. That means," she explained patiently, "That instead of going to class, I take one test that covers all the material we learned. If I pass the test, then I pass the class. But some of my classes aren't letting me just take the test to pass."
Inuyasha glared. He just KNEW that it was that stupid "school" that was at the bottom of this. Were they making her leave him? Can you kill a school?
"One class I'm failing is language arts," she said calmly, while Inuyasha thought of ways to dispose of this evil school thing. "My teacher gave me an extra credit assignment for the school year. It is a creative writi… Inuyasha, are you listening to me?" He nodded, letting his eyes focus back on her, hoping his sudden bloodlust didn't show.
"It's a creative writing assignment. Each day there is a different topic I'm supposed to write about. Some days I'm supposed to write a journal entry on a favorite memory. Some days I have to write a story. And sometimes, like today, I'm supposed to write down a favorite poem or song lyrics and write about my feelings on them. I chose the poem "Goodbye" by Alicia Keys."
He cocked his head to one side. He wanted to speak, but if he did that, Kagome might remember that her finger was still on his lips and try to move them. So instead he tried to will her to hear his question.
She sighed. "It wasn't my poem, Inuyasha. I didn't write it. I just liked it, so now I have to write about my feelings on it. That is my assignment."
A part of him ached when she moved her finger from him. "You aren't leaving?"
"You can't get rid of me that easy, Inuyasha," she laughed.
"This entry has to be between 200 and 250 words long. Do you want me to read you what I wrote?" she asked as she flipped open the bright red journal that she still had clutched in her hands.
He shrugged and said he didn't care one way or the other, unaware that his twitching ear gave away his interest. With a smile she found the right page and began to read out loud.
"Goodbye" by Alicia Keys.
I was flipping through a book called "Alicia Keys: Tears for Water" when I ran across this poem. The title caught my eye. Maybe it was the way it was written, I don't know. But something about it made me stop and read it, even though I had passed by dozens of others that I didn't even bother to skim.
The first time I read it I actually cried. I know it may sound corny, but it spoke to me. It reminded me of a time when I felt like I had lost the only man I had ever loved. I remember trying to think of how I was going to possibly tell him "goodbye". The thought of leaving him forever was frightening. Worse than that, really. It was like I would be losing a part of my soul forever.
I know that some people don't consider song lyrics to be poetry. But if it touches your heart, makes you cry or laugh or feel anything at all, then to me it counts.
It makes me wonder what my life would have been like had I said "goodbye". I can hardly imagine how empty and colorless my life would be. Will I ever say it? I don't know. I hope not.
Word Count: 215
"Well?" Kagome asked timidly.
"Idiot," he mumbled to himself as he picked her up. A part of him was terrified and furious that she had actually thought of leaving him. Seriously! And another part of him soared at how the thought of that was as painful to her as it was to him. He wanted to ask her what she meant by 'I hope not', but didn't dare. At least not now, not when he felt like he had taken a trip through the firey pits of Hades. Instead he hopped down from tree branch to tree branch to take her back to Sango.
"What was that?" she asked with the threat of 'sit' in her voice.
"I have to go check on that idiot, Miroku," he said quickly as he sped off into the forest. He could have sworn that he heard her call him a coward. But it didn't matter. Kagome wasn't leaving.
She wasn't telling him goodbye.
Just to let you know, the chapters in this story will vary in length and content, depending on Kagome's current assignment. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks Shoomy2003 for warning me that songfics were not allowed. So I rewrote that section in hopes that it works better.