Not sure where this idea came from, but it became what may be the saddest one-shot I've ever written…
"I'm…f f f freezing here…" Kagome chattered. Inuyasha pushed forward into the blinding snow and ignored her. He knew she was cold, he wasn't stupid. Sango and Miroku had stayed at Kaede's hut with Shippo while Inuyasha and Kagome pursued the latest shard rumor. Then a blizzard had come from now where, and Kagome found herself cursing the person who had included skirts in the school uniform.
"We'll find a place to wait out the snow, just hold on Kagome." Inuyasha grunted. He felt the cold too, but it didn't bother him that much. He wasn't dressed much better then Kagome. Fire rat pelt is good for blocking youkai attacks, but against a simple sensation like the cold, it was useless. Inuyasha pulled Kagome closed against his back and trudged on. Kagome wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and shivered. A puff of warm air came from her mouth, and within the 2 seconds it took to hit Inuyasha's neck, grew frigid and icy. Inuyasha squinted to see through the blinding snow and smiled.
"I think there's a cave up ahead." He said to Kagome. Kagome winced against his back, tears escaping her eyes and freezing against her cheeks. Inuyasha cursed human frailty. Humans weren't meant to take this kind of weather, especially not in Kagome's clothing. He growled and forced out an extra burst of strength to reach the cave. He ran inside and welcomed the break from the winter storm.
"Here, rest here." Inuyasha said, crouching down. Kagome unhooked her hands and slid down his back, resting against the wall. She leaned her head back and pulled her knees up against her chest. She closed her eyes and shivered as puffs of cold air escaped her mouth. Inuyasha let the concern show on his face. Kagome was going to catch a cold at this rate. He could only imagine what her mother would say, even if it wasn't his fault.
"H how long before it lets u up?" Kagome chattered. Inuyasha sighed.
"I'm not sure. A couple hours if we're lucky." He muttered. Kagome whimpered in response. Inuyasha looked around the cave for any scraps of wood for a fire. There wasn't a single piece anywhere. And any wood he found outside would be soaked from the snow and wouldn't burn. He peered outside to see if there was any wood not cloaked by white. The snow blinded him once again, and even with his senses, he couldn't see more then a few feet. Inuyasha turned and frowned at Kagome. The girl had lain down on her side with her hands under her head. Inuyasha knelt by her.
"Kagome? You okay?" He asked. Kagome nodded slightly.
"Y yeah…I'm just tired…wake me when the snow stops." Inuyasha snarled and hauled Kagome to her feet, catching the miko by surprise.
"Oh no you don't! I've seen humans who sleep in weather like this, they don't wake up."
"I'll be fine, you're just paranoid." Kagome muttered. "I'm tired, just let me sleep alright?" Inuyasha sniffed her and growled. Her skin was pale and she was shivering what seemed to be every 2 seconds. Forget a cold, she was going to catch pneumonia the way she was now. Inuyasha shrugged off his haori and pulled it tightly over her.
"Here, it'll keep you warm, but don't you dare go to sleep." He warned. He sat down against the cave wall and pulled Kagome into his lap. "Stay awake Kagome, come on. How's your school going?" He asked. As long as she kept talking, she couldn't sleep.
"Got a math test in a week…gotta study…" Kagome murmured.
"Louder Kagome, can't hear you." Inuyasha urged.
"The snow...is it over?" Kagome yawned.
"No, but we'll ride it out. C'mon Kagome, we'll get through this." Kagome shivered and wrapped her arms around Inuyasha, pulling herself towards him.
"Cold…" She murmured. Inuyasha nodded. Even his hanyou senses were freezing now.
"I know Kagome, I know." He coaxed, running a hand through her hair, tangled from the melting and freezing water and ice in it. Kagome buried her head in his neck.
"Don't let me go…" Kagome said, her voice barely noticeable even to hanyou ears. Inuyasha nodded and wrapped his arms around her.
"I won't Kagome." He replied.
"Promise…" Inuyasha turned his head and placed a gentle kiss on her ice-cold brow.
"I promise." He whispered. The miko murmured as she drifted away. Inuyasha realized she had fallen asleep, and tried to move his hand to shake her awake. His hand didn't listen, and the hanyou could barely move at all. So Inuyasha settled on what he could move: He tightened his arms further around the sleeping girl in his arms. He yawned and laid his head down on Kagome's.
"I won't let you go Kagome. I promise…" Those were his last words before he fell asleep.
- - - - - - - - - -
"They might have traveled this far, but there's no way to tell." Sango muttered. Miroku nodded and leaned over the side of Kilala to glance at the ground. It had been three days since they had heard any word from Kagome or Inuyasha. Those three days had been some of the worst in their lives. The blizzard had raged non-stop until just that morning, and the two had set out right away to find the hanyou and miko. It was a good thing Kilala was a bi-neko youkai.
"There!" Miroku pointed. "There's a cave, they might have taken shelter." Sango nodded and guided Kilala down. The youkai landed in front of the cave entrance, and Miroku peered in with a gasp. "Oh dear…" He murmured. Sango followed his wide-eyed gaze and gasped.
Inside the cave lay Inuyasha and Kagome, wrapping in each other's arms. Inuyasha had his eyes closed and was resting his head against Kagome's. A thin sheen of frost covered both them, and their skin was almost white. Kilala whimpered and stepped back. Miroku stepped into the cave and knelt by them.
"Are they?" Sango asked. Miroku stood and clasped his hands, silently chanting a prayer. Sango burs tout crying and fled from the cave, burying her face in Kilala's tail. Miroku finished his prayer and left the cave,
"We cannot bury them. Their bodies will not move, and the graves cannot be dug in this weather." He muttered. Sango sniffed back tears and looked up at him.
"So what do we do?"
- - - - - - - - - -
It took 3 days of work to cut and clean the planks of wood needed, but it was done. The villagers cast up the planks against the hillside, covering the cave entrance. Villagers returned to pile more soil against the wood, creating a natural-looking extension of the mountain. Within a few years, the cave was covered by wood and soil, and all but forgotten by a select few. A select few who knew the location of the two grave markers atop the mountain. Markers without bodies. Their were no names, and within a century, there lived none who knew who was respected there.
But memories do not simply die and fade away. Deep inside the mountain, sealed inside a cave that would never be seen again, lay a hanyou and miko in eternal sleep. Memories exist there. Memories of a beautiful miko from the future and her handsome hanyou protector. Memories of a love never spoken of, shared by glances and actions but never worded. Memories of a romance that seemed doomed to fail, but somehow, they were together against all odds. Somehow, they were together, and no force in this world or the next could ever hope to break them apart. Inside that cave sleeps memories of the hanyou Inuyasha and miko Kagome…
Once upon a time, a hanyou promised a miko to never let her go…
He kept his promise, to death and beyond…