Disclaimer: The characters of Inuyasha are owned by Rumiko Takahashi, but this story belongs to me.
A Funeral for Kagome
He didn't want to be here.
He didn't want to be with these people.
He sure didn't want to spend one more second in the presence of the boy who claimed to have been Kagome's childhood sweetheart. He and those talkative girls were at the wake yesterday and annoyed him then just as much as they annoyed him now. He had to remind himself that they were there because they cared about Kagome. As her mother had reminded him gently of it many times. Many times a minute to be precise. One by one these strangers had walked by her casket, offering incense and a prayer. It irritated him that they all got small gifts as they left. Mainly it irritated him because he was the one handing them out and had to listen to people talk about Kagome as if they had known her.
But they didn't know her.
None of them knew her.
They didn't know how strong she was. They didn't know how remarkable of a human being she was. What other woman adopts an orphaned fox demon or chooses a half breed dog demon as her mate? What other woman travels through time and fights demons to defend thankless humans who scorn her when they find out her relationship with a hanyou? They saw her as weak and frail. A person to be pitied.
The old coot demanded that Kagome have a traditional funeral. Inuyasha wasn't comfortable with that. It made it all seem too real.
"Relax, Inuyasha," whispered the woman beside him who looked so much like Kagome. "It will all be over soon."
Several people put flowers beside the urn and Kagome's picture. It took great effort to not shake the ones who didn't leave her one. Souta told him that Kagome wouldn't like it if he did that. He had to settle on scowling at them. The only thing that made this even remotely bearable was the fact that the service was held at the family shrine.
Once again Inuyasha was reminded to thank the guests as he handed them their small gifts. He mumbled something that might have been words of thanks as he shoved the small wrapped item into the next set of greedy hands. He didn't feel that they should get a gift if they couldn't even leave her a measly little flower.
Patience. Easy for her to say. The clothes he was forced to wear were horribly uncomfortable. Of course, not nearly as torturous as the shoes he was forced to put on his feet. And even that wasn't as bad as having to keep his ears pinned down to his head since he wouldn't be allowed to wear a hat to her funeral. His hair had been arranged to help cover as best as possible, and tied at the base of his scalp for added protection. But it was a strain to have to be so aware of his ears. He couldn't wait for these people to leave so he could untie his hair and rip off the shoes. He missed his own clothes.
Of course, even with his ears pinned down he could still hear the whispers. They blamed him for Kagome's death. Sweet and gentle Kagome had fallen in with the wrong crowd. A punk. A hoodlum. A two-timing jerk. A bad seed. They didn't know he was a hanyou, but they knew he was no good. At least, that seemed to be what everyone thought.
If only Kagome had stayed away from such a bad influence, then perhaps she would have lived.
If only Kagome had been healthier, then surely she would have noticed that the boy was no good for her.
If only Kagome had more sense than to get involved with a delinquent.
If only Kagome had stayed with Hojo, then she would still be here today.
If only, if only, if only. He was sick of listening to it. Kagome made her own choices. When they had first met he had tried to take that choice away from her to keep her safe, but no one could keep Kagome from doing what she really wanted to do. Kagome chose this path in life. Kagome chose HIM.
Though he tried to keep his eyes from the alter, they would constantly seek it out. It was a very pretty urn, and the picture they displayed showed Kagome smiling brightly with love and joy lighting up her entire face. Inuyasha almost smiled as he remembered when that picture was taken. In fact, he had taken that picture just last week. Several months ago Kagome brought out a photo album and showed him pictures of her family. He remembered them taking their pictures once in a photo booth and had asked how they were able to fit so many people in it. She showed him a camera, then showed him how to take pictures. There was something about taking pictures that had fascinated him. It was like taking a moment in time and freezing it, letting you keep it forever. Kagome must have sensed his interest, because the next thing he knew, he had his very own brand new digital camera.
It just seemed so wrong. Not the picture, but where the picture was and why.
Finally people were beginning to filter out of the house and yard. He would have to keep watching them until the last one disappeared from sight. Didn't these people have homes to go to? He could hear the conversations the stragglers were having, and none of them were about Kagome. He wondered if her mother would mind if he just threw them out. He glanced over at the woman with the teary eyes and decided he didn't want to chance accidentally setting off the waterworks again.
Together the family stood and waved at the last of their friends. They all sighed at the same time.
"I'm hungry," Souta complained. "Is Inuyasha staying for dinner?"
"Gotta," he replied, "In case there are any more of them people coming to pay their respects." He turned hopeful eyes to Kagome's mother. "Will there be Ramen for dinner? And breakfast?"
"Oh Inuyasha! Of course we will. Are you certain you wouldn't rather have pancakes for breakfast?"
"Nah, Ramen's good."
He kicked off his shoes in the yard and headed for his tree. With one powerful leap he jumped onto the branch just outside of Kagome's window. It was only cracked open slightly, so he had to lean over and slid it up the pane. He thought about being stealthy, but the day had been too tiring to do anything but just get into the room as fast as he could. In one bound his was in the room and sprawled out on her bed.
Inhaling, he let himself be surrounded in her scent. It was calming, just what he needed.
"How'd it go?"
At the sound of her voice, Inuyasha opened an eye. Kagome was peeking at him from behind her closet door. She tossed Inuyasha his robes and kept her back turned as he started shedding clothes. He was too tired to put on more than his hamaka before plopping back down on the bed.
"You have annoying friends."
But with her in the room with him, safe and alive, Inuyasha couldn't seem to bring back any feelings of annoyance. Instead, he made a grunting sound to get her attention, then opened up his arms to her. She lay down beside him and he closed his eyes once more when his arms were wrapped around her and he could feel her heart beating. The funeral disturbed him more than he wanted to let on.
"But at least it's over," she sighed as she reached up and gently took the pins from his hair that held his ears in place. She ruffled the hair and scratched along his ears, making the fur stand up.
"Are you sure this is what you want?"
The question got him a poke in the ribs. "A little late for getting cold feet, you know. I'm already dead."
He pulled her closer and whispered into her hair, "Don't say that." The thought of her dead made him sick. Attending her funeral… had hurt.
"As far as everyone is concerned, I am. I have to be. People are going to start noticing that I've stopped aging. Now that my life is tied to yours," she let her body soften against his and shuddered as he brushed his lips against her collarbone. "To be honest, I forgot where I was headed with that. You distracted me."
He smiled against her skin. As soon as dinner was over and they were back on the other side of the well, he'd get the chance to really distract her. Until then… he sighed and pulled back. Male pride puffed up his chest at her disappointed groan.
"Your family," he reminded her.
"Feh," she snorted.
"Your mom cried. A lot." He tucked her in at his side and put his head on top of hers. "It ain't like you're really dead."
Kagome reached up and stroked a lock of his hair, making him feel warm and tingly, and wishing it was past dinner so they could head back to their home in the past. Their own home. He was proud of the hut the two of them had built together. Sango and Miroku had offered to help, heck, half the village offered to help, but it had been important to him and Kagome that it was something they did by themselves. Together. They best part about it, he smirked, was that it was far far away from everyone. Only promises of frequent visits to their friends in Kaede's village and occasional stealthy visits to her family in her own era and got Kagome to agree to the rather remote location.
"True, but she knows that I'll be gone a lot more often. And that the shrine is no longer my home, but just a place we visit. And she's sad that she won't be able to acknowledge her own grandkids in public. That they'll have to be a secret. Plus, we'll have to stay away for several months, just in case well wishers come by, we don't want them to accidentally run into me."
She smacked his arm. "Don't sound so horrified, Inuyasha. We'll make sure to head back home after dinner."
"Breakfast. I said we'd stay for breakfast."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "Ramen?"
While Kagome started making a list of all the things she needed to take with her, things that wouldn't cause a scandal if they were found in an archaeological dig one day, Inuyasha started thinking about those grandkids for Kagome's mother. It would be the polite thing to do to grant her wish since she's always so nice about feeding him Ramen… Inuyasha smiled as his wife scurried off to find a pencil and paper for her list.
Now that in this time Kagome Higarushi was dead, his mate would finally be able to live.
This is a one-shot story.
Thanks so much to Kiterie for proof reading for me and offering such great suggestions. Grammar is not my friend, so I am very grateful for the hard work she put into it. I'm afraid sometimes Texan grammar shortcuts accidentally make it into stories.