See with your heart

I don't own these characters, nope.

AN:Yes, this is InuyashaxKikyo, but only if you see things like I do.

Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of the tree.

He'd always been burdened by a choice. A choice of one woman or another. Both so similar, both so different. Why did it feel like he was betraying her...but sometimes it didn't feel like a betrayal at all. But how could it not be a betrayal? She might be dead, but she's still...isn't she? But then how did this other girl get in his heart in the first place?

Sango and Miroku had wandered off. He wondered how many slap handprints he'd come back with this time... Shippo and Kirara had also wandered off. Out 'hunting.' For food, supposedly, though he had no idea what those two'd manage to catch.

And Kagome was still down there, down at the bottom of the tree, resting...when his nose caught a whiff of something else. The scent of beauty and death in one. Kikyo was headed this way, too.

Oh, damn, now he was going to get caught in between those two. That is what he most certainly didn't want...

That's odd. Kikyo didn't ususally approach when Kagome was around.

"Leave him alone!"

Kikyo ignored her. And spoke to him. "Come out of the tree..."

"Keh." He knew he wasn't going to like this. He knew it right before either girl had said a word. But out of the tree he came, with a graceful leap.

"You are troubled." Kikyo didn't ask this as a question. It was a statement of fact.

"It's your fault if he is!" Kagome tried to shift the blame for this onto the other priestess entirely.

"Is it?" She eyed Inuyasha again. "What troubles you?"

He looked away. He didn't want to look at either girl just then. So he said, "...Betrayal." But he wasn't talking about what Naraku did to them, or what Naraku tricked them into doing to eachother. He felt like he was betraying her by loving Kagome. For he had come to admit that he was, but how he could he love her when...he felt like he should be loving Kikyo all along?

Kikyo, too well aware of all the kinds of Betrayal they'd been through, asked, "Which one?"

"The one where I made promises to you...and every day I'm here, I break them...for her." He nods at Kagome.

Kagome wasn't sure whether she should be happy or sad at that particular declaration. Glad to know he was caring for her enough to think it was a betrayal, saddened that he should think everything he did for her was a betrayal of Kikyo.

"I have come tonight to show you the truth of that. Close your eyes, Inuyasha."

Inuyasha, by now thoroughly confused, just did what he was told. He wondered if he was going to get shot by arrows. And which girl'd shoot him first.

"See with your heart...and embrace me." Kikyo moved, concealing her scent just enough that his nose would not track her, that his ears would not hear her move.

And so he did...he stepped forward to embrace Kikyo...and when his arms wrapped around a girl, he thought he'd passed the test...

Only to discover he was holding Kagome. "...Keh. This was stupid."

Kagome was not amused by that response. "SIT!" And into the ground the poor half demon went.

"Do you understand now, Inuyasha?" Kikyo, talking to the poor guy who'd been slammed into the ground.

"I...dunno?" He clearly didn't.

"...What are you trying to do? Just leave him alone! And go away!" Somehow, Kagome felt uncomfortable with what was to happen.

Kikyo continued to ignore the other girl. "I told you to see with your heart. And so you did. I told you to embrace me, but with your senses shut down, you had to look for my soul." Upon seeing a further lack of comprehension on his face. "...Your eyes deceive you. What you see in me isn't me, it just looks like me. What you saw with your heart really is me...the person you love. My soul...is split, and Kagome has more of it then this body does."

Kagome was a little taken aback at this. What did she mean, she has more of Kikyo's soul then Kikyo does? She's not the one with soul collectors keeping herself alive on the souls of others...

"You mean..." Inuyasha's lightbulb was starting to switch on...slowly.

"I mean you never betrayed me in that way, because of the part of me that actually matters to being in love, she has more of it then I do. Naraku is satisfied with my appearance alone. I once...compared you to him. But this showed...what's left of me that you're not looking for what you can see...you're looking for the soul you can't." Kikyo continued explaining the nature of the spirit.

"Hey wait! He's in love with me for me! I know he is! It's not cause there's part of your stupid soul in me!" Kagome was shouting at both of them.

"If you really believe that, return what you have of my soul to me. It is simple to do. I will even show you how." Kikyo's voice had a bit of...hope in it. If her soul were reunited, she'd be able to be...more then just the living dead. More then just an arrow pointed at Naraku's throat.

But Kagome did nothing at all...too deep in thought to dare doing that. If she did, she might lose him forever on the spot...and then what would she have?

"...I see. Enjoy borrowing my life. Without my permission." Kikyo turned to walk away. "Remember...as long as she has more of my soul then I do, you cannot betray me that way."

Inuyasha had realized it then. He had never fallen out of love with Kikyo at all. He was still loving her...at least, loving where most of her resided. But would he ever be able to tell Kagome, with any honesty, that he cared about and loved her for her? Or was he just loving Kikyo all along and not knowing?

But Kagome walked away, not daring to offer the other priestess a thing. And Kikyo was already heading off in the other direction. Leaving him in the middle. To follow the dead priestess was to betray all that mattered to to her. To follow the living was...a love borrowed by someone to whom it didn't belong. Honoring Kikyo's soul...her love...meant more to him then the lie that necessarily entailed, so he chased after the girl in the skirt.