DISCLAIMER: 'Inuyasha' belongs to Rumiko Takahashi, and not me. I do not own the characters either. In short, the only thing in this story that is mine is the plot. Do we all understand now? Good, on with the story.
I JUST NEEDED TO TELL YOU
He stood at the bottom of the steps looking up in both unmatched excitement and pure terror. How he could feel to such powerful yet clashing emotions at once he wasn't sure. On one hand, he wanted more than anything to fly up those stairs as fast as he could and once again look upon the beautiful creature that had plagued his dreams for so long. On the other hand, he was terrified to do so, terrified that he wouldn't get the reaction he so desperately hoped for and that his sole reason for continuing to live would be taken away from him.
Just how long had it been since he had last been here? Was it a few days ago? Or was it five hundred years. Time travel still confused him so much, even after all this time. But he thanked all the Gods in heaven that this was what had in fact happened and that after all this time he now had a second chance to make this work.
Inuyasha would never forget that terrible day when he realised that the well had sealed, trapping him on one side and Kagome on the other. The day had started with such promise. Naraku had been defeated and the group was celebrating their victory in Kaede's village. Shippo was playing happily with the village children. Miroku was busy trying to convince Sango that they didn't have to wait until they were married before consummating their love and Sango was slapping him. Meanwhile Inuyasha sat on the sidelines, watching everything and eating the ramen Kagome had left him. Kagome claimed she was just going home to get some snacks to help the celebration along, and Inuyasha was waiting nervously for her to return. Upon his greatest enemy's defeat, Inuyasha had decided that it was time to stop beating around the bush and tell Kagome how he felt. She had been with him for so long, had sacrificed so much of her life back in her own time to be with him. He owed it to her to tell her the truth, and now that he no longer feared that he would be killed in the final battle he felt he could do so. He hadn't wanted to tell her on the journey home, but once they were safely back at Kaede's village he made up his mind to tell her that very day. As soon as Kagome returned, Inuyasha was going to take her aside and tell her how he really felt and then ask her the most important question of his life, the one he had believed he would never ask anyone. He was so nervous he was barely able to get down his ramen.
But then, time past and Kagome didn't come back. As sunset came, Inuyasha started to get worried about her and decided to go and get her. What happened when he tried to go through the well was one of the worst experiences of his life. The only thing he could ever remember hurting so much was when his mother died. Not only did he not go through, he didn't even feel any of the magic that he had always sensed in the well, it was just a dry hole in the ground. In a bout of desperate denial, he tried jumping in another dozen times before he allowed himself to face the awful truth… the well was closed.
The mournful howl Inuyasha released when he realised this could be heard for miles, and the unbearable sadness in it broke the heart of all those who heard it. It was enough to bring his friends to him and a dead run. When they learnt from their hanyou friend that the well had closed, their grief was almost as great as his. Shippo in peculiar took it hard and didn't stop crying for three days straight. This was the second time the kit had lost a mother, and the wound cut deep.
For Inuyasha, it was like the sun had died that day. For several days after that he didn't talk, didn't eat. He refused to leave the site of the well that had once connected him to Kagome. Kagome, the best friend he had ever had, the first being besides his mother to truly see him as a person and not just a hanyou. He couldn't believe she was really gone forever; it hurt too much to ever consider it. While he might have claimed that the Shikon Jewel and defeating Naraku were the most important things in his life, for so long the only thing he had really been living for was Kagome. His most important duty in life was to protect her, and the greatest joy in it was seeing her smile. Without her, he had nothing left worth living for. He would likely have stayed there until death claimed him, had his friends not managed to bring him back from the darkness of his despair and given him back a single light of hope.
It was Miroku who brought him back, when the monk reminded Inuyasha of something that in his misery he had had somehow forgotten. Kagome was not from some strange other world, although it might often seem that way, but from the future of his world. Yes there were five hundred years separating them, but as a half-demon it was possible for Inuyasha to live that long. If he truly want to be with Kagome again, if he was patient enough, he could wait out the years and be with her once more. Inuyasha didn't need to think twice, for Kagome waiting five hundred years would be worth it.
And so began the longest wait Inuyasha was sure a man ever had to endure for a woman. The years were long and often hard, but he somehow got through them, all the while counting down until he could see Kagome once more. As time went by, he found himself growing in power as all the little comments Kagome had made about 'history' over the time the two had spent together gave him a huge advantage over almost everyone else Japan. The fact that youkai were considered merely myths in the future and humans existed all over in absurdly large numbers lead him to seek out a way to appear human, which eventually lead him and Shippo (who continued to stay by his side throughout the years) to create the first ever 'Concealment Charm'. When the rest of the youkai population woke up to the impeding threat of man, they started clamouring for Charms of their own, and the two of them quickly rose in power and wealth among youkai. By the time the twentieth century came around Inuyasha had amassed a substantial fortune, which grew even further when he decided to branch out into human finances as well. By buying stocks in pretty much every brand-name Inuyasha could remember seeing in Kagome time while the companies were still young, it wasn't long before Inuyasha was listed among the riches beings on the planet.
But despite the power and wealth Inuyasha was able to accumulate over the centuries, he still wasn't really happy. The void Kagome's loss had left in his heart had never been filled. He had never mated, although not for the reasons he once thought. While he had once been shunned for being a hanyou his wealth and power made him a much sought after mate by youkai and human women alike, but Inuyasha never even glances at the potential suitors that all but lined up. He found the superficial nature of the whole thing to be tiring at best, insulting at worst. Many of the women that tried to win his favour still looked down on and insulted hanyou behind his back and he knew it.
Inuyasha wasn't really the least bit interested in the wealth and power he had accumulated other than something to do to pass the time and perhaps something to offer Kagome when he finally meet up with her again. While he had to admit that it did make his life easier at times, he wouldn't have cared if he had to sleep in a cardboard box as long as he still got to one day see Kagome again. He was still counting down the years, and more recently the months and days. He had been secretly keeping tabs on the Higurashi family for a long time now, and he couldn't help but smile at the thought that Kagome and her family were actually descendants of Miroku and Sango. He was sure that Kagome would be amazed and pleased to hear that to. When he received word that the family had had a baby girl named Kagome, it was one of the happiest moments of his life. His wait was now nearly up. It was so hard to stand by and not go to her now, but he knew he couldn't alter history without risking creating unknown and possibly extremely dangerous side effects.
But by now, a new fear was starting to set in, one he couldn't believe he hadn't thought of sooner. What if Kagome had been the one to seal the well? What if her claim of going to get some snacks from her home was just an excuse to get away without him and the others becoming suspicious? What if after the mission was over she wanted nothing to do with him anymore?
If that were true, he would not bother her. He would stand aside and let her live her life in peace like she had wanted, despite how it would shatter his heart again this time for good. But if it wasn't true, if she had wanted to come back and was suffering even a thousandth of as much as he had, he would go to her and try to comfort her as much as he could. But before he did either he had to know the truth. So once it became clear to him that the day the well was to seal itself was approaching, he sent a very special spy to watch over Kagome and find out the truth. Myouga, who was still every bit the coward he once was, was still alive and had continued to 'serve' Inuyasha over the centuries. What was more, he was small and weak enough that not even a miko as powerful as Kagome would notice his presence around her unless he revealed himself, and Inuyasha had made it clear what he would do to the flea if that happened. And so Inuyasha waited with bated breath for Myouga to send word to him of what really happened that day.
When word had come to him earlier that afternoon that Kagome had been repeatedly trying to jump into the well and crying about her inability to go through, he didn't know whether to be sad that Kagome was crying, or happy that she was crying over him. In the end he settled for being relieved that it wasn't her that had locked him out.
It was about an hour since Inuyasha had received that phone call. He had rushed over here as fast as he could, and was now trying to work up the courage to make his way up the stairs to see Kagome. He had waited so long for this moment, but now was scared to go through with it. Taking a deep breath and reminding himself that knowing Kagome she was probably still crying and he might be the only one able to give her comfort. Focusing on that thought and seeing that no one else was around the hanyou took the stairs in a single leap. Before he could loose his courage again he started to head towards the house, when an all too familiar itching on the back of his neck caused him to stop in his tracks. Slapping the source of the itching, when he took his hand away he was not the least bit surprised to see a squashed Myouga in it.
"Myouga, how many times do we have to have this discussion about you sucking my blood?" A couple hundred years in the business world had finally done what was once thought impossible and taught Inuyasha some manners.
"I'm sorry, my lord." Myouga said with a bow. Even after all this time the flea still insisted on using that old and otherwise forgotten title. "I was simply trying to get your attention. If you are looking for the Lady Kagome, you are going the wrong way. She has not left the well house since she discovered the well closed. Her family thinks she has gone through and has not tried to bring her inside yet."
Inuyasha nodded, before telling the flea that he could go now and walking towards the well house. This might actually turn out to be his advantage, as he wasn't sure he could say what he wanted to say in front of Kagome's family anyway. After waiting five hundred years, he wasn't going to wait any longer and was planning on asking the question he had wanted to ask five centuries ago tonight just as soon as he was able to comfort and explain the basics of what had happened to Kagome.
Sure enough, just as Myouga had said, Kagome was still in the well house. Her old yellow backpack was left lying forgotten on the ground while Kagome sat in front of the well, sobbing her eyes out. The sight broke Inuyasha's heart, he had seen her cry before but never like this. But even crying, Inuyasha couldn't help but think that she was still the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. The sight of her warmed his heart in way he had almost forgotten and for a moment he couldn't move or speak. Before he could bring himself to say anything, Inuyasha realised that there were words hidden in Kagome's sobbing.
"This can't be happening!" Kagome sobbed into her hands. "Inuyasha! I want to go back, I want to see Inuyasha!"
"You never get to go back Kagome, the well is sealed forever." Inuyasha said softly, her words meaning more to him than she would ever know. "But if you want to see me again, you just need to turn around."
Kagome's entire body froze up and for a long moment she didn't move an inch. Then slowly, as if she was afraid she had imagined his voice, Kagome turned around to stare at the man behind her.
Inuyasha smiled a little nervously, knowing he looked different than she remembered him. While he had dropped his concealment spell when he entered the well house and once again looked like a hanyou, he wasn't exactly the same hanyou she remembered. The fire-rat clothing he had once exclusively worn was gone, replaced by a pair or dark brown track pants, a red t-shirt and, amazing enough, a pair of well worn sneakers on his feet. Shoes had taken him the longest time to get used to, but they were expected when going out in this day and age. While he did still carry the Tetsusaiga with him wherever he went, it was no longer by his side in plain sight, instead hidden in a long packaging tube, which was in the backpack slung across his shoulder. He also looked older, for while demons and half demons aged slower than humans they did still age. Inuyasha no longer looked like a teenage boy, but instead a young man in his early to mid twenties. However, the long silver hair, the golden eyes and the dog-ears were all the same.
"Inu…Inuyasha?" Kagome asked hesitantly.
Inuyasha continued to smile nervously at her, all the speeches he had envisioned giving for over the centuries completely fleeing his mind now that he was faced with her in real life. "Hi Kagome."
The next thing Inuyasha knew, he was staring down to see Kagome's head buried in his chest as she hugged him like her life depended on it and cried bucket loads of tears on his t-shirt.
"Oh Inuyasha!" Kagome cry was muffled as she pressed her face into Inuyasha's chest so hard he was surprised she could still breathe. "I though I would never be able to see you again! What…?" She looked up at him, confused as to how he could be here with the well closed and the differences in his appearance.
"Kagome." Inuyasha said taking a deep breath to help him get through this. "When you were so late coming back, I tried to come and get you but I couldn't. The well was sealed, and it never unseals again. I've been waiting five hundred years to see you again."
"You have?" Kagome asked, clearly shocked. "You waited all that time? What have you been doing in that time? What happened to the others? Shippo, Miroku, Sango? What…?" Kagome broke off when Inuyasha gently placed his finger over her lips to stop the flow of questions.
"Me and Shippo have pretty much been hanging around each other for the last five hundred years." Inuyasha said. "We got together about four hundred years ago and created charms that hide demon features, make us look human. With humans becoming more powerful and dangerous, they were a huge hit with demons and ended up making the two of us a fair amount of money. We also started getting into human finances not too long ago and made some good money off that to. All those trips I took to your time helped me figure out which companies were good investments and which weren't. We're actually pretty well off now money wise." He decided that maybe breaking the news of just how 'well off' he was would be a little much for right now with everything else she had to take in. He'd tell her that when she had a chance to take everything else in. Besides, he didn't want to tell her anything that might effect her decision when he asked her his question. He wanted her to accept or refuse because of how she felt about him and nothing else.
"Shippo's living here in Tokyo, he's mated and has two kits of his own now. I couldn't get through to him to tell him you were here now, but you should be able to see him in a couple of days if you want." Truthfully, Inuyasha hadn't bothered to contact Shippo yet, knowing that if he did the kitsune would rush over every bit as fast as he himself had. Maybe it was selfish of him, but he wanted just one night with just him and Kagome.
"As for Miroku and Sango, they both lived long and happy lives in Kaede's village. They had eight kids, five girls and three boys. They both died peacefully of old age, Miroku was seventy-three and Sango sixty-nine. Believe me when I say in those days that was a very long life for a human." Once again, he thought that maybe he should leave some things unsaid for a while at least, like the fact that Miroku and Sango were actually her ancestors.
Kagome nodded that she understood what Inuyasha was saying, although she still looked a little overwhelmed. She was just opening her mouth to ask something else when Inuyasha cut her off once more with a gentle finger against her lips.
"Kagome, before you say anything else, there's something I have to tell you. I meant to tell you the day the well closed; I was going to tell you as soon as you got back but of course that never happen. I've been waiting for the chance to tell you ever since."
"Tell me what, Inuyasha?" Kagome asked. Was it Inuyasha's imagination, or did she seem a little nervous as she asked that question? But what did she have to be nervous about? Inuyasha was the one sweating in his shoes here.
Pushing his anxiety away as best he could, Inuyasha pushed on. "Kagome, I'm going to tell you something, and then I'm going to ask you a question. Before I do, I want you to promise me that you'll answer me with whatever is in your heart, not what you think you owe me or because you feel sorry for me waiting so long or anything like that. I only want the truth. Do you promise?"
Kagome really looked nervous now and Inuyasha wondered what she thought he was going to ask. However, she nodded. "I promise."
Inuyasha took a deep breath and closed his eyes, unable to look her in the eyes as he said this. If she was going to say no, he didn't want to have to see her rejection in her eyes. It would be painful enough just to hear it but he was serious about wanting her to answer from the heart. He couldn't stand it if she said yes only out of pity.
"Kagome I… I love you Kagome. I love you so much, more than I've ever loved anyone. Yes, even Kikyo. Truthfully, I didn't really know what love was back then, all Kikyo and I ever really shared was understanding and friendship. But with you, Gods Kagome, you mean more to me than I can ever put into words. Five hundred years and you never left my heart. I wanted to tell you that the day the well sealed, and then I wanted to ask you something, something I never thought I'd ever be able to bring myself to ask anyone. Kagome, will you… will you become my mate? My wife, in human terms. I, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, bind your soul to mine to give you my lifespan. That is… if you'll have me."
Gathering his courage, Inuyasha looked up to see what her reaction was, only to close his eyes almost immediately in regret. She was just standing there in shock, not saying anything. To him, it was a sign of rejection. He should have known that she wouldn't feel the same way, but after five hundred years of waiting, hoping and dreaming this was just too much to bear. He started to slowly back away, preparing to leave. He couldn't be with her now, after being turned down. His heart just couldn't take it.
"I understand." He said softly. "I will respect your decision, you never have to see me again if you don't want. I just needed to tell you how I felt."
He was about to leave when he suddenly found Kagome clinging to his torso again. Only this time she wasn't burying her face in his chest as she cried, she was desperately pressing her lips against his in a passionate kiss that somehow a million times better than any kiss Inuyasha had ever dreamed of (and he had dreamed of kissing Kagome more than his fair share of times over the last five centuries and more). After a spilt second hesitation brought on by pure shock, Inuyasha kissed her back. The kiss continued for as long as they both could manage it, until the need for oxygen forced them to part.
"Inuyasha, you idiot." Kagome panted after she finally broke off from the kiss, albeit reluctantly. "I love you so much. I would love more than anything to be your mate. I wanted to tell you myself, today or five hundred years ago, or whenever it was, how much I love you and that I wanted more than anything to be by your side forever, if you'll have me."
"If, if I'll have you?" Inuyasha repeated with a laugh brought on by equal parts joy and relief. "Gods, Kagome, I would have to be the world's biggest idiot not to want you."
The two of them just stood there for a few minutes just enjoying having each other in their arms. For Kagome they had been apart for less than a day, for Inuyasha five hundred years; but they both knew that the other loved them with all of their heart and that was all that mattered.
Inuyasha grinned to himself as he wondered how Kagome's family would react when they told them that they would be getting married, or Kagome's dopey school friends. Hell, forget that, how would they react when they discovered he was the third richest man in the world? In the case of her friends at least he envisioned some very loud screams.
"Gods, Inuyasha." Kagome said quietly after a couple of minutes in contented silence. "I've waited so long to hear you tell me you love me."
Inuyasha grinned down at her. "I waited five hundred years to tell you, Kagome. But I was worth every second of that wait."
Smiling happily at each other, the two once again shared a passionate kiss; the likes of which they both hoped to enjoy every day for the rest of their lives.