A/N: All I have to say about recent events is: YES WE EFFIN' DID.
I don't care how you feel about the issues. This is a great moment in American history we have witnessed and I am happy because of that.
Chapter 32: To a New Day
Bright sunlight shone through the open curtains; the first thing Kagome noticed when she woke up that morning. For a moment, she thought that she was back on that ship, the Wound of the Wind…sleeping soundly in the warm captain's bed, the gentle rocking of the ship beneath her…to wake up to a new day and adventure on the open sea…
But then she opened her eyes and found herself back in the present.
She was no longer in that small, but cozy cabin on the ship that sailed the open sea. No, once more, she had been confined back on land—a land that never moved, and never changed; boring. Though boring it was, she had made her choice. She had chosen him.
Propping herself up upon her elbows, the silk sheets starting to slip down, Kagome turned to look at him. The man she called her husband. Inuyasha stood there, clothed only in his pants as he looked out the window of their bedroom. The view was one they had both requested—a view all the way to the harbor, out to the sea. Even though Kagome couldn't see his face, she knew what expression he was wearing—what it was that shone in those brown eyes of his; longing.
The sea had been a great part of his life. It the way he had lived for half a decade. And now, after everything—he had to give it up and turn it back on what had defined him for so long.
It was like loosing a great friend. No…perhaps it was more. More like losing a great part of yourself.
Kagome knew. And she knew that feeling. She had felt it before, and now she would feel it again.
But she had chosen this, hadn't she? She wasn't going to give it up now just because she was unhappy.
Stretching for a moment, Kagome turned to get out of the bed, taking the sheet with her to cover herself as she came to stand beside her husband as he gazed out the window. When she stood by him, he only gave a small grunt to acknowledge her presence.
"I miss it too," she told him.
He said nothing.
With a sigh, Kagome leaned against him, both of them watching as the sun rose higher in the morning sky. As the light grew brighter, Kagome turned to look up at Inuyasha, and, for a moment, the light reflecting off his hair looked almost white—for a moment, she saw him as he had been, back when had been the hanyou captain of the pirate ship Wound of the Wind…back when she first met him…and feel in love with him…
But he turned away from the window, and the illusion was lost. "That time is over now," he told her sharply. "I'm past all that. I can't be the captain of the Wound of the Wind anymore, so I'll have to get by like this. I'm changed, and I can't go back."
"Are you sad?" Kagome asked hesitantly. "Are you upset that you lost your hanyou powers…that you're just a human like everyone else?"
He didn't look back at her as he paused on the question. "A little…but…like I said, there's nothing I can do about it."
She couldn't look back at him. "I'm…I'm sorry."
He snapped back to stare at her. "What?"
"I'm sorry," she repeated. :If I didn't…If I hadn't; allowed for the jewel to have been activated, then…you wouldn't have lost your hanyou powers…we wouldn't be forced to live like this, instead we could have…"
"Stop it," he cut her off sharply. "I already told you, I don't blame you, Kagome. It wasn't your fault. It was something that happened, and now I'll just have to learn to live with it."
"But it's not fair! The sea was your life, and now to be forced to give it up just because—"
He sighed, sitting back down upon the bed. "True…it was my life, but…its not my life anymore. Now, you are my life."
Kagome fell silent at that. Well…what was she supposed to say? He was serious. And perhaps it was true. They had given up their previous lives, and now, all they had was each other. It would seem to be the better trade but…
Kagome could tell. She could tell every minute he looked out the window, every seconds his thoughts wandered, every instant he thought of those waves, and the adventures he could be having on them at that very moment.
Oh yes…if only…
Inuyasha began to start getting dressed for the day, pulling the long shirt over his head. "Are you going somewhere?" She had hoped he would opt to stay with her for a little while…just a little while longer until the day had to begin.
"Have to get to the bank early, before it officially opens," Inuyasha told her, sliding a buckled boot over his foot. "We're trying to find the price of those gems we got off Naraku's ship, and since the gems are considered 'found pirate treasure' instead of gems registered by the crown, well…its better if business is done before the work day begins. Can't have the original owners of the gems asking for them back, now."
"I thought you already knew how much they might be worth?"
"I do know. But you know how some of these English bankers are. Besides, if I appear more informed of the price than I should be, it would be 'suspicious'."
Kagome gave a small, forced chuckle.
"Anyway," he stood up, buttoning his waistcoat. "I'll be gone for a while."
"Really?" Kagome asked, in hopes of having a more lighthearted conversation. "And what am I supposed to do while you're away, My Husband?"
Inuyasha couldn't help but snort at that. "Oh, the usual, mind the children, keep the house, and try not to threaten anyone at gunpoint, will you?"
She couldn't help but smile at that, as Inuyasha went downstairs, leaving her to sit back on the bed, still wrapped in the sheet. Soon afterward, the single maid came in, a little surprised upon finding her mistress dressed as such. Well, her last mistress was an old unmarried woman, so it was to be expected.
The maid; a pudgy sort of woman, looked back through the open door and down the hallway to where Inuyasha went, and asked Kagome, "Is…is everything allright between you and the Master?"
Kagome stared. "What do you mean?"
The maid looked embarrassed to be saying it, but, "Well…usually you and the master don't get up until later in the day."
Ah. "He had to go to the bank early this morning, he should be back later."
"Oh, Well that's—that's good news. You and the Master seemed to have been—a bit depressed lately, and I thought—"
"There's no reason to worry," Kagome assured her. "Inuyasha and I are on perfectly good terms."
But that's not the problem…
Her eyes drifted back to that window. It's true…we both miss it. And though right now everything between us is all right…will it not be so in the future? What if this…if this turns into something more? If it turns into something like that, then I could never bear it…
We can try. We can always try, but the fact is, we both have a Heart of the Sea, and because of that, being cut off from the sea like this…it's like we have lost a part of ourselves…how long can we live comfortably like this until…
Kagome sighed, and decided. That day, she would visit her mother.
"Ah, Hello Kagome…where is Inuyasha?" her mother asked, as Kagome removed her hat in her mother's parlor.
"He's at the bank—he had some work to do."
"You came without him?"
Kagome stared at her mother. "Is that so surprising?"
After a moment, her mother laughed. "No, not at all." Most women went with either their husbands or a male escort of somesort when they went out to town. But Kagome was not 'most women'. As proven by her wild tales of sea adventures, Kagome could handle herself.
"Mama, I'm wondering," Kagome asked, sparing her mother the pleasantries. "Where is the money that Father left me…the money that would have gone to Kouga as my dowry?"
Her mother thought a moment, "I should still have it, but why? Is there something you need it for?"
At that, Kagome fell silent. Yes, there was something she needed it for. But telling her mother…giving her the knowledge of what she planned would hurt her mother in the end. "Mama I…If I do this…I may not…I may not be able to see you for a while…I know, I mean, I just got back, and after you lost Kikyou, I know it's selfish of me, that when I'm the only one who's come back to ask to leave you again, but I thought…I know what I want in my heart, but at the same time, Mama, I don't want to—" Tears were welling in her eyes, and like usual when she was upset, all her words began to blur into one.
"Kagome…" Her mother came and hugged her, a smile on her face despite knowing what her daughter was planning to do. "You are just like your father. You share the same passions, and I am glad of it. I was sad when your father always went way, but I was happy inside, knowing he was doing what he loved. When he came home, he was happy to see all of us, but then, I could not ask him to stay here when I knew he would be cut off from the sea that he loved.
"It will be the same with you, Kagome," her mother continued to smile softly despite the small tear in her eye. "I will be sad to see you go, but happy knowing you are doing what you love with the man you love. For that, I will be happy, in my heart."
"Mama…" Kagome clung to her as she had, years ago. "Thank you."
Dock F at the Main Harbor.
That was what the small, vague note Kagome had left for him when he had come home that night. He couldn't help but view the note with skepticism, wondering what in the Hell Kagome could have written to him about.
His first immediate thought was that perhaps she had found the location of his old ship, and maybe he wanted to see what had come of it. Well, she was wrong. He never wanted to see The Wound of the Wind again.
Or maybe she just wanted to show him some fancy or famous ship she had found, who knew. Frankly, he found it hard to care now that he had been forced to give up sailing…
Or, so he thought as he traveled down the main dock, eventually finding the given dock number.
He had excepted a grand warship—instead he saw a small, but sturdy schooner, with bleached sails unfurled. Though it was a small little thing, when Inuyasha first saw her, he couldn't help but admit she was a beauty—her light decks scrubbed clean and shining in the afternoon light.
Inuyasha couldn't help himself—mesmerized, he stepped aboard.
The ship was surprisingly steady. Running his hand over the smooth rail, Inuyasha could see the high quality wood was polished to a shine—an absolute gem of a ship.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Came a voice from behind. Inuyasha turned—black hair swaying in the sea breeze. Stepping from the door to the captain's cabin came Kagome—dressed in her old clothes from their days of pirating. Only this time, there was a little extra addition—her skirt was partially drawn up for better mobility, revealing a pair of black pants that he was sure she had taken from him at some point.
Nearly speechless, Inuyasha tried to speak. "This…you…"
Kagme nodded, "Turns out the auction at the dock lasted more than one day. I used the money that father had put away for my dowry at some point in the future…so I guess you can call it a late wedding present." Inuyasha was still speechless, and Kagome's confidence was failing…she quickly said, "I…I know you were upset because we couldn't go sailing anymore, and the money we had was for our upkeep, so I thought that…"
Leaning back against the rail, Inuyasha sighed—and smiled. Looking up at the tall masts above, he spoke, "You know how to pick out a good ship."
It was only a moment before she smiled as well—a smile she hadn't had in seemingly ages. "It's a small, but sturdy ship, you know. It can be manned by only two people. I thought perhaps we could go back—down to New Providence, perhaps, and visit Miroku and Sango, and then maybe up to give the colonies a little visit—and then perhaps go all the way to Africa, and India, and Madagascar, and around the world—see it all, like you wanted."
Inuyasha couldn't help himself, he laughed outloud. "Damn, woman. Do you know how long it will take to organize a voyage like that?"
"I know," she laughed as well. "But I thought, perhaps…you wouldn't mind a little spin in it now…just to test out the waters for a little bit…eh, Captain?"
"Maybe…" he chuckled. "Just for a little bit—no taking me off to Africa, now."
The lines were redrawn, and the anchor was pulled aboard, as the ship prepared for its first voyage. As Inuyasha came to rest his hand on the wheel, never feeling more at home than he did at that place, he stopped, "Wait," he asked, looking back at her as she stood beside him. "This ship. What's its name?"
"Yeah, what is it?"
"Well…" Kagome paused. "The former owner didn't give it a name, apparently. I don't think he ever used it at all."
"Heh, stupid man," Inuyasha chuckled. "Anyway, she needs a name."
"Well, all right…you think of something?"
"Nope. You bought her. You think of it."
So Kagome thought. What name could she give this ship…this beginning of a new life after a closing of another…a new life she wouldn't have ever had, had she not met Captain Inuyasha that fateful day in the Kingston prison, or no…perhaps it began far longer before that…before everything…
"It's name will be Heart of the Sea." She smiled, knowing her father would have been proud.
"Good name," Inuyasha told her, before, swinging the wheel wildly, as they cast off into the open water—to their endless future.
A future to travel anywhere they wished, because at last, the Siren and her Man were free to create their own destiny.
A/N: Jesus Christ, this took a long time to finish.
Anyway, a note about updates and stuff: I am notably a lot busier these days. It's not like High School where I could dole out a chapter a week easily. I think the only steady update rate I can fall back into is a chapter every two weeks, balencing job with school with volunteer group and stuff.
I will be a lot busier in the coming weeks, so I will be going on a hiatus until after the new year while I flesh out the summary for the new story.
If people are still reading Inuyasha fanfiction by then, that is.
I think the next story MIGHT be my last fanfic, not sure. If it is, however, I am going to try to make it AWESOME in ways you havent' seen before.
Such, the story idea I talked about before "Starcrossed" is going to be dropped since I could never make it totally interesting. The plot was fast paced at the beginning, sagged in the middle, and then sped up at the end. The story I am doing instead should have a fairly linear rate of progression.
So, here is my basic idea:
In the Mind of the Beholder: It's a redux of Beauty and the Beast! Now I know you all have seen this before, but! add in a ghost of the past that haunts the 'forbidden castle', our 'Beauty's' dark secret, assassination attempts, a cult of wish granting wishes, a wish that can never come true, a curse that cannot be lifted, and a locket that connects them does our 'Beast' feel so drawn to his 'Beauty'? Why does a forgotten lover haunt him and want revenge? Why does a simple village girl know of things that should have happened before she was born? It is the Beast that is under the spell, yet it is not the Beast that suffers the true, more sinister curse.
What is the price of a life? The price of happiness? Are both too great to pay? Is anything real, or is it just an illusion of reality? It's all inside the Mind of the Beholder!
(And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my attempt at making the most cool sounding summary ever for a story I've only half fleshed out. Let's hope I deliver on that. D: )