Miroku and Sango were standing close together and talking in subdued voices with Shippou dancing about their feet, when they were nearly blown over by a brilliant pillar of light and the sudden reappearance of the well and Inuyasha. The hanyou seemed to be glowing and ethereal for a while but his expression was very determined.
In fact he looked quite like Sesshoumaru at his most inexpressive Miroku thought, and knew that it wasn't a good sign in his volatile friend. Inuyasha forestalled them all by telling them that Kagome was safe, but not with him, before walking off towards the forest. The sadness that emanated from the small group was instant and palpable, making Inuyasha feel that he couldn't stay strong in their company and he certainly didn't want to answer any questions right at the moment.
But he returned later to the small hut that had never felt so claustrophobic before; now though, with all eyes turned to him, it was stifling. Inuyasha tried to tell them what had happened within the jewel, but he could not express the emptiness and complete dark very well. Nor the sheer size of space that seemed to be inside what he knew was a small sphere. He kept his thoughts private however, when he remembered what he had said to the jewel about his belief in his and Kagome's destinies.
It became too much and between Shippou's and Sango's sad reddened eyes, Miroku's understanding face and Kaede suddenly looking ten years older, Inuyasha could bear the hut no longer and raced outside. He ran to the well and tried again and again to jump and make it work to no avail. It was no longer just for him, but his companions were suffering the loss of the young Miko and he didn't understand why fate would be so cruel to them.
He had always understood that nothing would be good enough for a hanyou such as him, but their friends didn't deserve this disappointment. Perhaps there was something he had missed, some clue that he hadn't remembered; but no matter how many times he went over the encounter with the jewel in his mind, there was nothing that would help him make his way back to Kagome. Inuyasha's ears twitched as he heard and identified Miroku approaching him.
"Inuyasha, you need to come back inside; from what you have told us, you haven't slept for nearly a week all in all. Even you need rest after all you have been through."
"I can't rest, suppose she comes back?"
"It is night Inuyasha; Kagome's mother has probably made sure she is in bed now. Kagome too will be exhausted. I will have a watch put on the well first thing in the morning, but you my friend will be no good to her if you are too tired either."
"Feh!" Was all that Miroku got to his sensible suggestions and he readied his staff to knock out the idiotic, but understandably stubborn, Inuyasha. He was not prepared for the quiet and unsure voice of his friend.
"Do you all blame me for letting her go and not bringing her back here?"
"Of course not; we are sad for ourselves and you, but you did the right thing Inuyasha, Kagome needed her mother more than anything else. What you did was the most selfless thing I have ever come across and I know it hurts."
"I am broken Miroku and I don't know if I can be fixed...But I will not give up hope...I can't."
"Of course Inuyasha, you must never give up hope, but now you must rest. Don't make me confine you."
"Keh!" But Inuyasha allowed Miroku to lead him back to Kaede's hut, where he sat down in his corner and closed his eyes, finally succumbing to the sleep he needed and under the watchful eyes of his concerned friends.
SFX challenge: Zah! dramatic entrance. lj First Tweak