AN- I think that this is not only my shortest one-shot, it's also the lowest rating story I've probably done. This story is based off of FrameofMind's 'Kaede's Story', which is an excellent look at Kaede's life from when her sister died (the first time) to when InuYasha is awoken. This can stand alone, but I implore that you read 'Kaede's Story' because that would make this story much more sensible. I hope that whoever reads this enjoys it, and I ask that you review not only this story, but 'Kaede's Story' as well. Thanks!
Read, enjoy, and review!
REUNITED ONCE MORE
In the end, she was in pain. Her bones ached, her joints were stiff, and not even the sight of softly falling snow no longer made her feel as calm and collected as it once had. She knew in her heart-of-hearts that this would be her last winter. The last of nearly countless others. She was getting old, too old for this day and age. Seventy winters had she survived before this one, and she was glad that her time had finally come. She was also glad that Kagome-san had decided to stay in their little village of Edo, glad that she had been the one to marry InuYasha and the young miko. There were many things that she was glad to have been a part of, but many other things that she regretted. Her thoughts, ever erratic these days, focused on her long-lost lover. Sighing, her breath clouding out before her, she shivered underneath her blanket. She didn't remember who draped it over her shoulders, and was having trouble remembering many things these days. The names of Kagome-san's children, the names of the newly married couples, what day it was...sometimes she even forgot the month it was.
Noticing that it was getting dark, even for her failing eye, she stood slowly and painfully before hobbling to her little hut, where someone had already lit a merry little fire. To her dismay, the warmth did little to banish the deep set cold ache in her bones. Coughing, she settled into a meditative state, though the pain made it impossible to reach perfect trainquility. Nonetheless, she said her prayers, and was soon lying on her futon, shivering as she listened to the wind outside, for it seemed as though it were calling her. With a short fit of coughing that shook her seemingly to the soul, she drifted off to uneasy slumber. Her eye would never open again.
"Oi, Kagome! Looks like ol' Kaede-baba has finally gone on." Despite the gruff words, the tone was surprisingly gentle and sad.
"Oh, no! When did it happen?"
"Keh. Sometime during the night. Poor old woman. At least she's at peace now..."
Kaede opened up her eyes, and blinked in surprise. It seemed as though everything were a bright white, yet the glare did nothing to strain her eyes...she blinked in surprise, raising her hands to her eyes, surprised not only because she could see out of both of them, but also because her hands were smooth and small, like they were when she was young. She realized then that she wasn't in pain, and her entire body was youthful. She realized what had happened, and was both sad and relieved.
"I've waited for you, Kaede," a voice said behind her, and she turned around, startled for she didn't know that anyone else was there with her. Once her eyes registered who it was, she sobbed. It was Jiro, looking exactly like he did the day he left, more than sixty years ago. "I waited for you, watching over you these long years, just as I said I would." He approached her, enveloping her in a hug, bathing her in his warmth and unique scent that she had missed so very much.
"Kami-sama," she gasped. "It's been so long, I've missed you so!"
"I've missed you as well. My only regret is that I never came back to you. But we are together now. Are you ready to go on?"
She smiled, tears gathering in her eyes. "Now that we are together again, yes!" She snuggled into his arms, her head resting against his chest, and the two souls faded from view, true happiness on both their faces. Finally, after all they had both been through, they could rest in peace in each other's arms, for the rest of time.