AN: Edit – April 3, 2009. It seems like I'll be continuing this beyond a one-shot. I'll warn you; I don't know where I'm going with this. I've decided to write this story around the prompts at the ebony silks community on LJ. Updates should be pretty frequent. Word counts will vary from less than 500 to more than 500, depending upon the prompt of that week.
This first chapter was written for the "Unbreak My Heart" challenge at ebony silks on livejournal.
Some Dreams Fade Anew
It's like I'm looking from a distance
Standing in the background
Everybody's saying, he's not coming home now
This can't be happening to me
This is just a dream
"Just a Dream" by Carrie Underwood
Part One: Some Dreams Fade Anew
It had been five years today when Kagome had received the news. Her newlywed husband was proud to serve his country, and he was the first to jump on the plane and head out for Iraq. His family had a long lineage of soldiers, from samurai in the Tokugawa era to oppressed Japanese-Americans who served in WWII while the rest of their families were being shipped to relocation camps.
Kagome remembered their first conversation as well. "Why are we even going to war? I don't understand." She had tears in her eyes. He took her in his arms and soothed her. He told her he believed in the president, and if they needed to be there to defend America, he would go. It was in his blood to fight.
Not even a month later, she received the visit – the kind of visit a wife of a soldier regretted getting. They bowed their heads and took off their hats and said they were sorry.
She was the one who was sorry. They had just gotten married, and their hope to start a family was gone. At least, he died fighting for his country – fighting for something he believed in. More importantly, he told her he was fighting for her and her safety.
That was so like him, but Inuyasha was gone.
"You're here," she said to the figure next to her. She heard him softly walk up behind her, and she turned around with a small smile. "You came like you always have."
"Hello, Kagome," he said in his deep, soothing voice. Her late husband's brother was the only living family Inuyasha had left. Now that Inuyasha was gone, Sesshoumaru was all alone. Although, he and his brother never got along while Inuyasha was alive, Sesshoumaru atoned for his past transgressions by visiting his brother's grave on the anniversary of his death. Once he called him a "hero" when Sesshoumaru was involved more into the legal aspects of the military.
"I'm glad you came," she said, and she felt a sense of déjà vu. She probably said that every time he came.
"Always," he said, and she could feel him staring at her.
Kagome knew he was alone. He lived alone and worked diligently, and she guessed he never had time for a social life. He adopted an orphan many years ago, but Rin had to be fourteen by now. Last she heard Rin was in boarding school. Kagome remembered sending a gift for her first day of school: a sturdy backpack to carry her large books. Even though Kagome knew Sesshoumaru could certainly afford it, she wanted to do something nice for Rin. In the few times she had met the girl she had really liked her and saw a nice young woman growing before her eyes.
With Rin and the memorial of Inuyasha, Kagome knew Sesshoumaru was a good person, despite what the media had said about his more cutthroat antics in the courtroom.
Kagome laughed to herself and Sesshoumaru watched her curiously. "I'm sorry, I was just thinking." She paused, and he let the silence fill the space between them to give her time to speak. "When he died, I thought it was a dream, you know – a bad dream that I would wake up from every day. But it was real; even though I wasn't convinced anything could hurt Inuyasha. He was so strong. He was the strongest person I'd ever met." She turned to him. "Besides you, of course."
"I never thought of my brother as strong," he responded. "But when I heard he was deploying for Iraq, I knew I was wrong."
Kagome nodded. "Are you tired of death? Aren't you tired of hearing the sorrow and pain and treachery for political gain?" She wrinkled her face and stared at Inuyasha's name and rank on his tombstone. She felt the tears and expected them to come. "You must see it. You must see what is right and wrong."
"I do see it, but the perception of right and wrong changes for each person, Kagome. Please do not taint his memory but thinking of such things. He was a true warrior." Kagome watched him with wide eyes. She supposed he didn't mean that negatively, but his words did slightly sting. "Our father would be proud."
Then, she sobbed. She cried and let the tears fall so swiftly out her eyes, she could barely stand upright. Sesshoumaru caught her in his arms and let her cry it all out.
"Kagome, let's stop this," he said just above a whisper.
"I can't. I don't think I can," she said frantically.
"We've talked about this. I've made the offer and still you do not give me an answer," he said sternly yet edged with softness. She felt him lift her chin to meet his gaze. His thumb wiped away the tears that had fallen over her cheeks. She met his golden eyes, and suddenly she felt lost there – scared of the inevitable next step.
Sesshoumaru had appealed to her before. She had considered him family, and after Inuyasha's death, they had come closer – as friends, as family, and at one point, something dangerously more. Kagome wasn't willing to cross that line yet, and Sesshoumaru was a patient gentlemen.
But when he came over to fix her sink, or to lend her money, or when she would invite him to her family's holidays, there'd be a spark there so natural and raw neither one of them could shake it loose. Kagome tried, but avoiding him wasn't the answer.
Because every year he came to her side to mourn her husband's death.
And Inuyasha really was dead, and whether the war was right or not, whether another woman's husband or another mother's son or daughter died too, it was irrelevant. Inuyasha was a solider, and he died in the most honorable way. She couldn't keep hanging onto the past that he was going to show up at her doorstep magically alive.
Otherwise, she was alone, and though Sesshoumaru's tie to Inuyasha was convenient, Kagome understood he was a man all on his own, and he was alone just as she was. Yet, on days of remembrance such as today, they both had each other, and this day was such a fixed constant in their lives that she knew it marked the beginning for something much more for both of them.
"Alright," she said finally. She watched Sesshoumaru's expression, and suddenly the tension between them relaxed.
"I don't know how or even where to start with this, but…" Her voice trailed off. She lifted her chin and tried to appear strong. "I don't really want to be alone anymore. I don't think… I think Inuyasha doesn't want me to be alone either."
She gave one last look at Inuyasha's tombstone and Sesshoumaru held out his arm to her. She took it, and she felt him lean down and kiss her cheek. He pulled back and they walked arm in arm toward their cars through the somber haze at Arlington.
"First, we'll start with dinner. We'll head over to Westover and try that Mexican restaurant my brother couldn't shut up about," Sesshoumaru suggested. Kagome nodded and felt her smile become wider.
Reluctantly, she pulled from his warm arm and headed back to her car. She felt him watching her as she walked away. She turned around again and said, "I'll meet you there." She noticed he looked tall and protective, standing next to his car door in his long black coat with his white blonde hair blowing in the light breeze. He looked like another dream she had, of her life moving on painstakingly until someone came along to rescue from the continuous loop of her misery.
Maybe Sesshoumaru was that person.
She pulled away from the side of the road and followed behind Sesshoumaru's black Crown Victoria. She glanced back in her mirror and saw the endless domino of tombstones fading away as she drove ahead.
The sun began to set in Arlington, and like Kagome's dreams, light faded into the night and gave promise to a new day.