Disclaimer: The characters of Inuyasha are owned by Rumiko Takahashi, but this story belongs to me.
Love, Thy Name is… Ramen?
It makes my blood boil! I am sick and tired of Inuyasha chasing after Kikyo. He can explain it away as many times as he wants to (checking up on her, seeing if there are new rumors about Naraku or the shards…whatever), but the fact is, he's off to just see HER. Then he has the audacity to come back looking all hang dogged about it. Most of all, I hate the fact that I'm supposed to just UNDERSTAND.
But I do understand. I understand that once upon a time he loved her very much. She was his only friend in a world where everyone else hated and despised him, and she held his heart in her hands. She was, and still is, an important part of his life. He feels he's failed her, and seeing her is part of his penance. Every time he goes to see her he comes back in pain. Those wounds are never really given a chance to heal.
I'm sometimes very afraid that those wounds never will heal. I'm scared that he's going to let what happened to Kikyo destroy his own chances at happiness. Our happiness. I'm terrified that I won't be enough for him. And I'm absolutely petrified that he's going to go off and do something incredibly stupid, something that can never be taken back, something that just may destroy us both.
It tears me apart to see him hurting like this. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to fix this always makes me sick to my stomach. My heart bleeds for him. I may never understand exactly what he is going through, but I understand that he's in pain. What could I do? Give her the rest of my soul? Find a way back in time to before the Great Misunderstanding? Step out of the way gallantly and invite Kikyo to join our group? Find the shards on my own so I'm not a constant reminder of what he lost?
I could do any of those things, with the possible exception of going back to a specific moment in time. But I won't. I'm too selfish. Pathetic as it may sound, I want to stay with him for as long as I can… even if he's in love with someone else. When this all ends I'll deal with the heart break. But for now… for now I just want one more day where he is mine…
"You waited up for me."
It was softly spoken, but it wasn't a question. I have to wonder why he sounds surprised though. I mean, I always wait up for him when he goes to see Kikyo. And he's always surprised. You'd think he'd be used to it by now.
I sometimes wonder if I'm some sort of glutton for punishment. After all, it hurts to see him coming back from being with her. Or am I unconsciously trying to punish Inuyasha by making him face me after seeing her? Each time he comes back he can't bring himself to look in my eyes. His own eyes are filled with such sorrow… and shame. Instead of the bright sparkling gold of topaz, they are simply yellow, lackluster and dulled. I hope it's that I'm a glutton for punishment. I'd hate to think that there was this ugly vindictive part of me that wants to hurt the man I love just because I'm feeling hurt. I guess I worry about the spot of darkness in my soul. So I try to push those feelings away. And I try to UNDERSTAND.
Because I love him.
The phrase turned my blood to ice. Was he sorry that he's decided to leave me and going to break my heart into a million pieces? Was he sorry that he will never love me the way that he loves her? Was he sorry because he did something with Kikyo that… ? Well… I can't even make myself think THAT thought.
"I kept you up too late."
Whew! That's what he was sorry about? Way to scare me there. I shrug off the apology. Losing a little bit of sleep didn't matter to me. Now that he's back I can relax some. I guess I stay up and wait because I just want to make sure that he comes back to me. I'm always worried that this will be the time that he doesn't come back.
He looked uncomfortable for a moment, then sat beside me. He never wants to talk about their meetings, so tonight I'm not pushing him. Part of me is curious about what happened between them, but another part of me is too insecure and afraid to find out. So we don't talk, we just sit and look at the stars for a little bit. Moments like this, when it is just him and me alone together while the rest of the world disappears, are what I live for.
"When I was young…" Inuyasha cleared his throat, and I gave him my undivided attention, trying not to look as startled as I felt. It wasn't often he talked about his past. I don't want to scare him off by saying anything, so I stay silent. "When I was young, after my mother died, I was alone. And hungry. I was always hungry."
I smile at him when he puts his hand on his belly as he emphasized the word. Okay, I get it, my hanyou is hungry.
"Want me to make you some Ramen?"
He nodded and followed me back to the camp, arms folded, hands tucked underneath. Most people see it as a cocky posture. Sometimes it is. But sometimes it is a defensive one. Like he has to hide his vulnerabilities, sheltering himself. It bothers me that he feels he has to hide anything from me. But I guess I hide my own vulnerabilities from him too. His eyes shifted to our companions. A few times he started to say something, but then changed his mind and snapped his jaw shut.
I have to say… his odd mood has me as curious as a cat.
After pouring the hot water into the Ramen cup, I put the cover back on to let the noodles steep. Beef flavored this time. Personally I'm a bit sick of Ramen, but he likes it so much, that I can't help but keep bringing it. Inuyasha took the cup from me and began walking away from camp. He looked over his shoulder and called me to follow him with his expressive eyes.
He sat back down and fiddled with the lid of his cup of noodles, checking to see if enough time passed so he could start eating, more than likely. Briefly he looked at me, then stared down at the steaming noodles.
I thought that he had ended his story earlier. But apparently he wasn't quite through.
"I was always hungry, every day of my life. When I was a pup I couldn't hunt. Most demons thought I was the prey." He gave a self depreciating laugh. His eyes looked haunted, and my heart began to hurt. "I was a scavenger. Scraps left from someone else's kill, berries I found regardless of if they were poison or not, food that villagers felt was no longer suitable to eat… Anything I could eat, I would. But my belly was always empty, and I was always hungry."
He swirled the noodles in the cup, but didn't start eating them yet. It wasn't like him to let Ramen get cold. This was serious.
"When I was older… someone gave me a scrap of food. Real food. Not rotted or stolen or slain or someone's trash. Someone showed me a kindness and gave me something that was good." He glanced in the direction he came from earlier. Where Kikyo probably still was.
Two guesses who the someone in his story was.
"I never tasted anything so good in my life. Never." His voice is soft and low. Almost wistful sounding.
I lower my eyes and look away. Hearing about his love for Kikyo was causing my stomach to knot up. In fact, I was beginning to feel a little sick. But how could I begrudge him this memory? He probably has millions of memories of how horrible his life was. Kikyo gave him something that wasn't horrible. She gave him something good. But even that happy memory has been twisted into something painful. I wish I were a good enough person to not feel jealous. But I just can't help it.
"I thought that there could never be anything in the world that was as good as that small scrap I was given." He finished peeling back the lid to his noodles and breathed them in. "But then… " He glanced at me from the corner of his eye, "…then I tasted Ramen."
"And I knew that this was what I had been waiting for all my life. This was what I needed. What I craved." He turned his head towards me, moved towards me slightly, and stared into my eyes. "What I…what I loved."
"But no matter how much I love Ramen, and you have to know that I would never ever EVER give up my Ramen, sometimes I still look back at that first scrap of something good… and I feel grateful."
"Love, thy name is Ramen," I muttered. Great, now I'm jealous of a Styrofoam cup full of noodles.
Inuyasha rolled his eyes and leaned against me as he began to slurp his dinner.
"Don't be stupid, Kagome."
This was one of those stories where I thought up a title first, then wrote a story around it. Somehow this is how I picture our favorite dog demon declaring his love.