Disclaimer: InuYasha is the property of Rumiko Takahashi
I'll Remember You
"InuYasha's right, I would leave my head at home half the time if it wasn't attached."
Kagome shook her head as she jumped into the well. She had just left that morning and now just a few hours later she had to go back…. she had forgotten her math book of all things.
"Kami, no wonder InuYasha gets so annoyed with me at times."
If not for the fact that end of the year exams were the next week she would have just left it be. It wasn't that she didn't like school, but more often than not lately she longed to forget about school. More and more lately her heart seemed to be shifting to the side of her desire for a future in the past.
Kagome jumped out of the well returning, albeit for the briefest of moments, to the comfort and safety of her family. This was the one place she knew she could always come to and be accepted, there was always love, open hearts and hug ready arms waiting within the walls of the shrine. If not for them, deciding her future would be easy, they were the one and only thing that made it a difficult for her to choose between the two worlds.
Kagome sighed deeply and shut the thoughts out of her mind once again. She knew one day she would have to make a choice, but this wasn't that day. Kagome wasn't going to waste a minute of the precious time she had left in whatever world she would one day leave behind.
It was early evening, the family should be just finishing up dinner. Sota would have his school work scattered on the table and Mama would be helping him learn his proper verb tenses while she did dishes. Gramps would be sitting in his chair with the paper, reading the daily news and grumbling about whatever plans whatever person in government was trying to pull off "for his own gain" whatever that was.
When Kagome reached for the door knob, trepidation made her step back with a gasp. She pulled her hand back, letting it rest on her chest,
"Something feels… wrong" Even as she spoke the words Kagome could hear them in her ears as if they had been spoken by someone else
She reached again for the knob, letting her hand rest on it for a minute.
"Oh, this is just silly."
She opened the door slowly, still feeling a great sense of unease.
"Mom? Gramps? Sota!"
Then it hit her what was wrong, The house was just too quiet.
She looked around, finding no one. A slight sound in a cupboard caught her attention. She went to it, opened the door and found Sota sound asleep. He looked like he had been there for hours.
"What in the world?"
Out of the corner of her eye she saw something laying on the floor in the hallway at the edge of the corner. She stood and went to it, then bent down and picked it up.
"What? But….no, it cant be. Not here…"
Kagome stood and walked around the corner, her senses on high alert. Her eyes went wide, shock clear on her face. She dropped the object she'd still held in her hands, put them to her mouth and fainted.
InuYasha paced nervously.
"What's wrong InuYasha?" Shippo asked feeling apprehensive
"Didn't she say she would be right back?"
"If your worried InuYasha why don't you go and check on her? " Sango asked
"Who says I'm worried.?"
They looked at him trying not to smile. He was so obvious sometimes.
He sat down and pouted
InuYasha sighed….."I don't know what it is. But something just doesn't feel right."
"Like what?" Miroku asked
"I don't know. "
"Maybe you should go check on her InuYasha" Sango said
"She always gets so defensive. I don't want to make her mad but, she should have been back by now"
"For once I agree with InuYasha." Miroku stated, his eyes looked troubled.
"Miroku?" Sango looked at him, concern etched into her eyes
"I had the strangest feeling earlier when Kagome said she needed to go back, like I should have stopped her."
"Why didn't you say anything?" InuYasha fumed at the houshi
Miroku said " I don't know, but for some reason, I don't like this Inuyasha."
"Oh Kami, InuYasha, I had that same feeling." Sango turned to InuYasha with panic in her eyes.
Without another word InuYasha jumped into the well to Kagome's time.
He sensed something was wrong before he even got out of the well. He was picking up a scent. One he had never encountered on this side of the well. The door Kagome always used was wide open, adding fuel to his panic and he rushed into the house, looking from room to room.
He looked in the hallway and saw a sight that made his heart stop. Kagome, only her feet, were visible in the hallway on that side of the corner. She was still unconscious on the floor.
He ran to her and nearly collapsed in relief when he saw that she was alive. His eyes fell on the object she had dropped when she had first come in.
Next to her lay wooden doll with a single strand of black hair tied around it.
Her mother and grandfather laid a few feet away, both dead. The scent of a fading miasma still hung in the air. InuYasha stood up, fists clenched, he swung and put a hole in the wall behind him.
He looked down again and saw Kagome, still out. He had to keep it together, for her, to stay strong for her. He was all she had now.
InuYasha knelt down by Kagome and brushed a stray piece of hair from her face with his finger. Heartbroken, he gently picked her up and held her close to him, his cheek next to hers.
"Oh damn it, Kagome. Why the hell did you ever have to get mixed-up in all this shit? You should be a normal girl like your friends, instead your fighting Naraku. That bastard came and took them away from you. I'm so sorry. Kami, I'm so, so sorry."
He sighed deeply, knowing he couldn't leave her there. He had no choice but to take her back to where whatever sick plan Naraku had awaited.
He went back to where he came in, then heard a slight sound coming from the kitchen. He turned to see Sota, just waking, still sitting in the cupboard.
"You okay kid?"
Sota stared up at him with shocked afraid eyes. Then nodded at Kagome.
"She's okay, she just passed out."
He went to Sota and offered his back.
"Jump on and hold on tight ok?"
Sota said nothing but climbed on his back. InuYasha could feel Sota's tears dampen his robes as he walked to the well house with what was left of the Higurashi family. Hoping like all hell the well would let Sota through.
InuYasha was about to jump in the well, he turned his face to Sota
"Hang on really tight now okay? And don't worry. Ill take care of you."
Sota tightened his arms around InuYasha's neck but still said nothing. "You too" He said looking down at KagomeShe looked so at peace. That, he knew, would end all too soon.
He jumped into the well, seconds later he came out in the Sengoku Jidai. Seeing Kagome unconscious in Inuyasha's arms , the others rushed up to him as he emerged.
"This is Sota, Kagome's little brother." he said sadly, catching Miroku and Sango with a look that begged them to not ask questions until the kids were gone.
"This is Shippo, me and Kagome have told you lots about him remember?" he said "Mind hanging around with him for a little bit? I wont be gone long."
Sota nodded slightly and Inuyasha put him down. Shippo took his hand and they headed off in the direction of Kaede's village.
"What's this all about Inuyasha?" Sango looked scared.
InuYasha opened his mouth to answer when he was interrupted by a bright blue dot of light. It looked like a firefly, but it hovered a foot off the ground, then grew until it was the size of a human being. Then it did take a human form, a dazzlingly beautiful female demon who looked to be clothed in blue light. Her eyes were huge and cornflower blue. She had three cornflower blue stripes on each cheek. Her hair was a perfect match, with strands of darker baby blue running through it, and very long, reaching down past her ankles coiling around them in loose cornflower, and baby blue ringlets.
"InuYasha I presume?" Her voice was sweeter than a child's, almost a sing-song, but much more pleasant.
"Who wants to know?"
"I am Takai-tenshi" She said, advancing on the small group
"What is your business here?" Sango asked, glancing at Miroku with worried eyes.
"With you demon slayer? Nothing." She reached out and ran a finger along Sango's cheek
"What do you want?" Miroku said, stepping in front of Sango protectively.
"You have nothing to fear either houshi. You may be quiet." She flicked her fingers at Miroku and Sango and they seemed to be frozen to the spot, unable to speak, though fully conscious. Their eyes darted to InuYasha in worry.
"Bitch! What do you want with us?!"
"With you hanyou? Nothing. My business is with the girl." She reached out her hand to touch Kagome and InuYasha pulled Kagome away.
"Don't even think about touching her!"
"And how will you stop me?" She began to advance and InuYasha quickly lay Kagome on her side on the ground next to the well, then stood, reaching for Tetsusiaga.
Takai-tenshi flicked her fingers at him and he was paralyzed, just as Miroku and Sango were. She laughed, circling around the hanyou. "My venom works fast on humans."
"It's lucky for you and your friends InuYasha that I wasn't sent to kill you." She pulled out a small dagger and threw it at the well, it dug in , only inches from Kagome's head. "But my aim is much more dangerous"
Rage flashed in InuYasha's eyes and he glared at Takai-tenshi, begging to somehow be free to choke the life from her.
Takai-tenshi pulled out another dagger, throwing it again, this time it was within an inch of Kagome. Then a third dagger pinned Kagome's collar to the well.
The demon bent down to retrieve her daggers, then ran the tip down the side of Kagome's face, neck and arm.
"I could kill her right now InuYasha. It would be so easy. And who would miss her? She's just a filthy, disgusting human after all. Or is she your whore? Is that why you protect her body so carefully?" She roughly pushed on Kagome's side so she rolled over onto her back.
"Be glad that I wasn't sent to kill her. Only to retrieve something."
Takai-tenshi let her hand hover over Kagome's side. It was enveloped in blue light and then sank into the ribcage, clenched, then pulled out the Shikon no Tama. She held it in her hand inches from InuYasha's face.
"The one who created me needed a way through this magic well of yours. The Shikon no Tama has great power. It would be a waste for a hanyou and his human whore to have such power." She knelt by Kagome again.
"Thanks for bringing it back for us." Takai-tenshi pulled out a dagger. "And next time InuYasha. Watch who you call a bitch" she made a cut on Kagome's cheek.
InuYasha vowed then to kill Takai-tenshi.
Takai-tenshi rose up into the air and was surrounded by blue light. She shrunk to the size of a firefly and flew off into the night. Once she was out of sight, the paralysis lifted.
"Come BACK HERE YOU FUCKING BITCH!" InuYasha thundered into the darkening sky. His body shook and his eyes flashed with rage unimaginable.
"InuYasha." Miroku said, putting his hand on InuYasha's shoulder. He took a deep breath, thinking of Kagome. He needed to keep it together. To stay strong for her and for Sota.
He nodded and knelt down by Kagome, wiping away the blood from the cut Takai-tenshi had inflicted.
Inuyasha knelt between the two graves, he placed flowers on both of them.
"Naraku killed you because of me. I promise I will avenge your deaths. I'll do it for Kagome and Sota. I'm sorry that he took you from Kagome and Sota. They needed you, not a hanyou who barely knows what he's doing half the time. I promise to take responsibility for them, and to protect them. I belong to them. They aren't getting much, but from this moment on, my life belongs to them."
In the feudal era Kagome and Sota slept together on a pallet on the floor. Shippo and Sango watched over them while Kaede and Miroku sat off a small bit talking.
"By now nothing Naraku does should surprise me, but to take his evil into the future and murder an old man and defenseless woman……" The monk shook his head
"The evil in Naraku truly knows no bounds."
"Lady Kaede, I thought Kagome and InuYasha were the only ones who could use the well."
"Aye, so I thought too. He has the Shikon no Tama, it has such great power. Enough to allow him to reach beyond the well into Kagome's time. Once his puppet had completed its evil, it must have implanted the Shikon no tama in Kagome."
" Then all that was left was to wait and watch for Kagome to return"
"This Takai-tenshi, I don't know how we will fight it. It's power is unbelievable."
"As Naraku grows in strength, so must his demon spawn. It will be most difficult, but you must find a way."
"I've never seen InuYasha so enraged. Not even when Naraku killed Kikyo. He barely held onto his sanity then. Before the paralysis wore off, his eyes……I've never seen such fury."
"Kagome will calm him. I believe his feelings of responsibility for her, far outweigh his need for revenge."
"I hope your right."
"Naraku will try to pull them apart of course. Together they are formidable."
"We have to find a way to stop him, for good this time."
Kagome began to stir from sleep. Her eyes opened to see Sota sleeping next to her, for a moment she was confused, then she sat up and her eyes filled with tears as she remembered what happened.
Inuyasha was on his way back to Kaede's when he heard Kagome scream
He began to fly at top speed to Kaedes. When he entered, he saw everyone trying to calm Kagome, she was hysterical with grief. Miroku and Kaede made room for Inuyasha at Kagome's side, he sat next to her and wrapped his arms around her. While she cried on his shoulder he lifted her into his arms and sat with her on his lap, holding her while she cried. The others left to give them some privacy.
"I'm sorry Kagome. This is my fault"
She shook her head.
"No InuYasha. Naraku is the one to blame. Don't put this on yourself, I wont let you."
Kagome looked up at him, surprised to see that InuYasha had tears on his cheeks
She touched his face where the tears rested
"It's my turn to cry for you now."
He pulled her close again and she rested against him, safe in his arms.
Naraku sat staring out the window. Kanna and Takai-tenshi stood behind him.
"They are dead then."
"I understand the boy escaped."
"it was out of our control, the boy was not home. "
"He is but a child. He is no threat to us. If the opportunity presents itself take care of the boy. There are more pressing matters. You have your instructions."
Kagome woke just before dawn, she looked over to see Shippo and Sota sleeping peacefully on the pallet next to her. With a small sigh she rolled over to her other side, nearly jumping out of her skin at the sight of InuYasha staring down at her.
"InuYasha! What are you doing?"
"Uhhh…I was just…" He stammered, not sure if he should tell her he had watched her all night or not.
"I was just making sure you were ok………..you were…….."
Kagome looked up at him, her eyes shiny.
"You were crying in your sleep." he finished softly
"I'm sorry I worried you" She put her hand on his, he turned his over and linked his fingers with hers. " I didn't mean to………" She broke off, dissolving into tears once again.
InuYasha shook his head and tugged on her hand, she got on her knees and he pulled her onto his lap.
"Stupid" He said, the emotion in his voice giving lie to the word he used. "Don't apologize."
Kagome rewarded him with a small smile. She rested her head on his shoulder as her tears began anew. She cried herself back to sleep and InuYasha pulled a blanket from the pallet and covered her, he turned to rest his back against the wall of the hut and closed his eyes, his thoughts on the one who slept in his arms.
Kagome and the others sat on a small rise near Kaedes garden watching Sota and Shippo as they helped Kaede pick vegetables for their lunch. InuYasha sat close to Kagome, His senses on high alert.
"InuYasha?" He looked at her.
"I need to go back."
"The shards are there. Sota and I need some of our things. And then……" She took a deep breath "Then I will come back here and never go back."
"Kagome!" Sango said in surprise.
"We have to make sure that Naraku can never go into the future again. If he does, more people will be hurt. The only way to do that is to seal the well permanently. "
"Can it even be done?" Sango asked looking at Miroku
"It can be done. Strong sutras need to be placed at both ends, Kagome can place the ones at her end, that would erect a barrier and I can place them at this end, along with a strong barrier to the entrance. I doubt even Naraku could break through two barriers. But nothing could ever break through them. You could never go back."
"Kagome, are you sure?" Miroku looked at her with concern and compassion in his eyes. "You have a life there as well…school, friends.."
"I have nothing to go back to there. How can I live in that house and not see my mom and grandfather dead on the floor? How can Sota go back there? He wont talk about it but he had to have seen everything. My days as a carefree school girl are over. Naraku saw to that."
InuYasha flinched at the sharp bitter edge to her words.
"Kagome…you.." InuYasha began
"My family is here now. I have nothing there that means as much to me as the people on this side of the well. My future is here."
"This can wait a few days, you don't to decide anything now." Miroku said
"Miroku is right Kagome, this can wait. I can get some of your stuff" InuYasha said, looking at Kagome he reached out and took her hand. "Tell me what you need and I will get it, you don't have to do this."
Kagome almost smiled at the thought of InuYasha trying to pack her things. "You wouldn't know what to bring. I need to do this, And I want to do it now. Besides the future is in danger as long as Naraku can get his puppets through the well.
InuYasha looked ready to protest again
Kagome looked deeply into his eyes. "Besides.. I need to say goodbye" A solitary tear rolled down her cheek, InuYasha wiped it away with a gentle brush of his thumb, then wrapped his arm around her. She buried her head in the safety of his neck.
"Come with me?" She said in a small voice
Naraku watched through Kanna's mirror as InuYasha and Kagome jumped into the well. He looked away and Kanna set the mirror on the floor next to her.
"This is all going perfectly according to plan." He smiled to himself "You are almost done I see"
"Yes" Kanna said as she picked up a blood red bead, adding it to the others on the think leather thong..
InuYasha returned from placing the last of Kagome's bags by the well. The only thing left was for Kagome to place the sutras. He hoped that she wouldn't regret her decision to stay permanently in the past.
"I'll make sure she doesn't"
He said to himself as he opened the door to her room to find her gone. He knew exactly where to find her. He began to turn away, but turned back to the room and looked around. Saying goodbye to the room was almost like saying goodbye to a part of Kagome. It was nearly as familiar to him as she was.
How many times had he fallen asleep on her bed while she studied late into the night? Then woke later to find her snuggling into his back, shivering because he was laying on top of the blankets. He would quietly strip down to his inner robe, then lay back down next to her, covering them both with her blankets.
She always sensed him near, even in her sleep. She moved closer to him, until her cheek rested on his chest. No matter how many times they slept that way, his breath still caught that first second he held her to him. He enjoyed the sensation that came to him as he lay his cheek on her head. Her scent was something he no longer just liked or desired, but something he craved.
Her bed was stripped bare now, the blankets, sheets and pillows wrapped around the family pictures she had packed away in one of the bags that waited in the well house. She had several pretty kimono and obi, and she had packed everyone of them, and her hair sticks and fans. The drawers were now mostly empty, she had changed into jeans, a soft blue sweater, and black loafers, then packed all of her casual clothes, carefully folding her school uniform and leaving it on her desk chair.
Now everything she planned to take with had been removed. But the green and white school uniforms that he had become so use to seeing her in still remained.
InuYasha turned again to leave, the last thing he noticed was that the pictures of her school friends were still on the shelves, the photo albums next to them. Her cherished school books that had always been so important to her, had been the reason for her return the day she found most of her family dead, still sat on her desk. InuYasha sighed sadly, then left to go to Kagome, shutting the door softly behind him.
Kagome sat on her knees between the two graves, She poured a small amount of dirt from each into small separate bags, then took a flower from each and added them. She would place a small marker for each of her loved ones under the tree where she woke InuYasha. The tree was already so special to her, now it would be even more so. She knew Sota would appreciate it too.
InuYasha watched quietly behind her, careful not to disturb her. In her hands she held the two perfect white roses that she had cut from the garden. She kissed each, placing them on the graves of first her mother then her grandfather. In front of her she placed her school uniform, white knee socks and brown loafers. Something clutched at his heart as he realized that Kagome was also burying her youth.
"Thank you for caring for them InuYasha" She said quietly. He came to her and she clutched his hand, resting her cheek against it. He kneeled down by her and drew her to him. She buried her face in his neck.
"InuYasha?" she said, her breath warm on his jaw
She looked at him, her eyes fierce and intense, yet filled with unshed tears and more pain than InuYasha could bear to see.
"Promise me something…"
"No matter what..." She blinked and the tears fell
"No, I mean, no matter what, this time Naraku dies."
"I Promise" He said wiping at her cheeks. He kissed her softly then held her while she cried. He helped her to her feet, and they walked hand in hand to make their final trip together through the bone eaters well.
To be continued….