A/N: This is the scene from chapter 465, the scene were Kikyou dies for good. I wrote out this one shot because it was so moving that it moved me to write it.
I must admit, even though I am a Kagome/Inuyasha shipper, I still have a great respect for Kikyou. Though I admit at first I didn't like her much at all, with time and as I got further into the series (and saw epidose 148), I started liking her as a character. And even though it was pretty much a given that Kikyou would die before the end of the series, it still made me cry as I read the chapter for the first time.
I used many different translations and scantlations and picked the lines from each that fit what I was trying to do, so I have to give credit to Ear Tweak, the adinuyasha group, and a few others that I can't quite remember at the moment...
(I also find it slightly funny that the minute I began to write this, it started to rain, only adding to the depressing mood.)
And so, Kikyou, may you finally rest in peace.
All this time…I felt loneliness…empty. Nothing more than a mere shell made of clay. And why is it now, when I am on the brink of death for the second time, I don't feel empty?
I can remember the first time I tasted death as vividly as if it was only yesterday…the pain, despair…and hatred I felt in my still beating heart…I felt nothing but anger, betrayal…and sorrow for what I had to do. That day fifty years ago…my soul will never move on from that moment, not as long as I remain in life.
I can remember the look in Inuyasha's eyes when I pinned him to the tree, that anger and same sense of betrayal. When I first died, I did not know what I was seeing…and now I know. Sometimes, I wish I could go back, and relive those days, make different choices that could have changed our fates.
But going back is something I cannot do. Despite how I wished there was a way once…it is one wish that cannot be granted. But there are others that can. And one wish I have wanted for so long is being granted right now…to look my last upon this world in Inuyasha's arms.
I am leaving the world of the living once more, but I know that death is never to be feared. I have been in the realm of the souls, and it is a peaceful place that I have longed to return to ever since I was brought back. How ironic that at the moment I am going to leave this world, I suddenly want to spend more time in it…just a little more time with Inuyasha.
When I first fell in love with him, I was nothing more than a naive, lonely girl. I wanted someone there for me, as I had seen other women with their true loves. And then I met him…Inuyasha's heart is a strange thing. So hard and cold at first…but warm and loving at the same time. Soon I learned that I wanted it to be me that opened the lonely hanyou's heart.
But it was not to be. Perhaps if I had lived…it could have been. I don't know if it should feel a sense of pride or jealousy in that it was my reincarnation that opened up his heart, and let him live again as he should have.
Whether he knows it or not, Inuyasha's heart has moved on. I think he has always known that there can never be anything between us, as I am dead and he is alive…fate has deemed that we were never meant to be…
But with my soul perhaps that wish is possible…in a way.
This body of clay feels nothing. I cannot feel the pain of Naraku's shouki, the poison that rots away this body, allowing my soul to be free once more. I cannot feel cold…or warmth. Like the warmth of Inuyasha's body that holds me as I look my last upon this sham of life.
Though he sits apart from everybody else, I know his companions are all staring, and thinking of me. The monk no doubt feels guilty that because I used my powers to purify the shouki wound in his body, my clay one deteriorated. I had no other choice…it was all I could do for the exterminator, who at a moment not so long ago, hated me.
I thought that with Kohaku's shard, I could use it to purify Naraku's Shikon no Tama, and use it to destroy him. I remember how she yelled at me, demanding that I could not use her brother's life, despite how Kohaku told me it was okay. I know I felt a little guilt, but the boy, like me, had been dead once. He held the pain in his chest from the slayings of his family and friends. He told me that he wanted to do what he could to defeat Naraku, and then return to death, free of all sorrow, to be with them.
I will not be able to play a part in his fate anymore. I leave his shard in the hands of Kagome…she is the only one with a soul pure enough to protect Kohaku's shard. I cannot say what she will do, but I only hope that it is enough.
The wolf that travels with them has lost his shards now…meaning Naraku has all but one. If the jewel had not been returned pure to Naraku at that moment, the wolfwould have lost his life as well. The shards were already in Naraku's hands, would it have been wrong to try and keep the jewel away from him instead?
But this was my choice. At first, I tried to demand his shards by force in order to use them to purify Naraku, but I could not take them. Now that he is no longer affected by the jewel, he will not be affected by the will of Midoriko either. He will be able to fight and defend what he believes in, without interference.
And Kagome…she mourns for me. I saw her tears. Though I doubted her heart, clouded by the fact that she loves Inuyasha, I see now that her heart is purer than mine could have ever been. She wanted to save me. Despite that with my death, Inuyasha is free of any influence I had on his heart, she still tried to save me from this fate.
Once again, it is strange. That for someone who is truly my reincarnation, she should be so different from me. Maybe she is what I could have been, had my heart not beentainted by distrust and betrayal in life. It was she that melted Inuyasha's cold exterior, her influence allowing him to keep on going.
At first, I know I treated her poorly, and considered her a threat to my hold on Inuyasha. I wanted her gone, this sham of me, so I wouldn't be hindered by her constant interference. The moment I first saw her, I saw instantly the pure, innocent love she had for him, and I knew that things between her and I, despite how awkward it was already, would be very bitter.
Perhaps it was the day she saved me, purifying the shouki wound in my chest after Naraku tried to kill me at Mt. Hakurei, I saw how pure she really was, and unaffected by my spiteful thoughts. I don't think I have ever met a purer soul…despite the small darkness that lingered there, her jealousy against me.
I am the one who should be more affected by jealousy between the two of us. Inuyasha claimed he loved me once, but I never had him as close as Kagome has. Though he wants to remain loyal to me…I know that is all it is, loyalty. Love died between us years ago. Perhaps he mistakes guilt for love…but that is all it truly is. Though it is selfish of me to think so, I cannot help but be comforted in the fact that now, in the end of my time on this earth, he tries to remember his love for me…and in that, it makes me happy…if one such as I can feel happiness.
Was I ever truly happy? I am known as "the tragic miko", and even throughout my life, it is not easy to find a time when I thought I was truly happy…
If I could pick a moment…perhaps it was when Inuyasha promised he would become human. Now I see it was wrong of me to try and change him, but then…he promised he would become human for me. The Shikon no Tama would be destroyed, all fighting with the jewel would end, and I could live in peace, as an ordinary woman, with a man who loved me.
Yes…thinking those thoughts made me happy…
It is hard for me to speak…I am unable to move my body much at all, but I want to comfort Inuyasha, knowing what he must be feeling now. "Back then…"
Inuyasha stares, looking fearful, his amber eyes which I have seen hold so many emotions, how holding sadness, and a slight fear of what was to come. "Kikyou…"
I look up at him, and I am unable to keep myself from holding a small, half-smile on my face. It is easy to see how much he has changed…how much we have both changed since then...almost unrecognizable. "Do you remember, Inuyasha?" I ask, my voice lowering in memory, "Before we were torn apart by Naraku…"
I can remember that day so clearly, the happiest time in my life… "Inuyasha…wouldn't you use the Shikon no Tama…and become a human?" I asked, so nervous before, waiting for his answer…the answer that was to change my life forever.
We were sitting in that field on a sunny day, the skies seeming to rejoice for us. Inuyasha hesitantly asked, "But if I become human, what will happen to you, Kikyou?"
I did not know for sure, but I had a wish…a hope. My role as a miko was to protect the Shikon no Tama…and if it was gone, what would become of me? My answer was simple, "I am the one who protects the jewel…if it disappears…"
"I will become an ordinary woman."
Oh, how I wanted that sweet freedom. To never have to guard my feelings lest my miko powers wane. To never have to drop everything and fight whatever evil came my way. To never be banned from ever loving, because a miko must be pure…I needed that, I craved it…I wanted nothing more than to be free of the loneliness that had become my life.
But sometimes, even many years later, even after going through Hell and back…wishes can be granted after all…
I feel no warmth, but Inuyasha's arms pull me closer, comforting me. "Like I could forget that," he replies, in his cocky voice that I fell in love with so long ago, yet it is now laced with sadness… "Back then, I was going to become human…and live together with you…"
I close my eyes, giving in to the feeling of freedom that I have achieved now, at my death. What I wanted back then…is finally in my hands. "I have finally…become an ordinary woman…"
And I have my freedom, the freedom to die at last, and no longer be bound to this world, like any other woman…and here I am, lying in the arms of the man that loves me, at last…I am a woman.
He speaks once more, trying to comfort me, but I am in no need of comfort, Inuyasha. "Kikyou…" His voice is trembling. He is on the verge of tears. I never knew that Inuyasha could cry…I never thought I would see the day, and yet here I am. "You were the first woman that I ever came to love…"
Yes, I was the first, but I know I will not be the last. Yet to be the first, gives me some silent happiness, I suppose. No matter who he goes to for comfort…I know I was always the first in his heart. But I will never be the only.
A drop…of rain? No, it is a tear. I slowly open my eyes and see it for the first time…tears are streaming down Inuyasha's face…he is crying for me…crying because of me. He cares so much, and yet I was forced to hurt him all the same…I wish I could say I was sorry, but I am not that kind of woman.
I am unable to keep a small, sad smile off my face. "It's the first time I've seen this…" He grips me tighter, as if trying to keep my soul in this world. "Inuyasha…you're face, crying like this…"
Tears stream down his cheeks faster, as he shuts his eyes in his in inner turmoil…His heart must be shattered to pieces now, seeing Kikyou, the first woman he loved, dying. "Kikyou…I…" his voice trembles more before he nearly chokes on a sob. "I wasn't able to save you!" he suddenly shouts in his pain.
I know what he must be feeling. When all else threatens, he is able to fight and kill it, destroying the threat, but now he must watch as I depart for the afterlife once more…there is nothing he can destroy to make everything all right…
He couldn't save me from death; that was laid down as my fate ever since I was brought back into this body of earth and bones. But I had thought that I was going to die in Naraku's clutches as he tried to keep Inuyasha and me from reuniting today. He didn't want us to be together in the end.
The cool night air brushes past us, yet I can no longer feel it. All I can feel in what I feel in my soul, thankfulness that at least, I was granted this one wish…Inuyasha is here. And I am dying in his arms, what I was denied fifty years ago when Naraku drew us apart. I am unable to keep from smiling at him at the thought. "You came for me…That is enough…"
His amber eyes look so pained, with tears still falling down his cheeks…so unlike the Inuyasha I know. He is truly changed now... He lifts me closer to him, and I know his intentions, perhaps even if I could move, I wouldn't change them at all, at least I am granted this wish…as an ordinary woman…allowed to feel and embrace in love…
And he kisses me goodbye.
It is nothing like the kiss we shared shortly after I was brought back, this one is of sadness, not of spite…at least its getting somewhere. I wish that in life, when I could have felt the warmth of him around me, I could have felt his kiss of happiness and of joy…but alone, this is enough.
In the end, I am not a soul trapped in a false life. I am not a tragic, once dead person. I am not even a miko. I am what I always longed to be…a woman.
As I pull away, I feel him no more, but I keep the smile on my face, letting him know everything is all right…I am happy.
And now, it is time. Goodbye, Inuyasha…
I feel myself floating, no longer Inuyasha's strong arms around me, holding me close…my body is gone, and my soul shall live on…inside of Kagome. But I will give myself this, one last look upon the hanyou that sealed my fate forever the day I met him in the woods…fifty years ago…
The shinidama chuu collect around me, carrying me back to where I belong. I geta look into those amber eyes that I was nearly lost in so long ago before I must return to the afterlife…He knows I am happy, and I guess, that too, will have to be enough…
I take my one, last farewell of everyone, looking back to see that Inuyasha is now joined by my reincarnation…she will do what I could not in life; she will love him without doubts. She will heal him of his grief…she will make sure he is all right.
Never worry, Inuyasha…don't cry for me. I don't suffer anymore, and with my soul…I will always protect you.
That is all I can offer, but I know, it is good enough.