Hello guys! I'm back again, writing yet another Inu Yasha fan fiction. This one, as promised in First Class Dog, is an extended epilogue to the Inu Yasha manga. This chapter is a quick prologue to sum up the ending for everyone so it obviously contains spoilers. I know the manga epilogue goes beyond where I have ended this chapter but I'm going to be inserting story content that is missing in the next one. Specifically, I'll be bridging the time between the big Sengoku reunion and the time which looks to me to be happening a few months later when Sesshoumaru stops in for a visit.
For all of my readers who checked out my previous work (and new readers): Right now I can't promise that I will update this very frequently (as mentioned in FCD) because I am still in the middle of my senior art exhibition. I'm extremely busy and will continue to be busy until the end of November 2009. For anyone that's interested the artwork is coming along slowly but surely and still retains all of the anime influences that the faculty is so against.
Note: All the stuff in bold are direct quotes from the manga taken from the One Manga website. Also, Inu Yasha and co. doesn't belong to me; they belong to Rumiko Takahashi. Any new characters introduced obviously belong to me, Green Bunny.
As usual, I have more questions for my readers so be sure to send me a review or PM reply! Here's my newest question: If I had a way to keep Sango and Miroku alive indefinitely through history as I intend to do with Kagome would you guys like me to keep them alive in this story? Most other authors seem to kill them off from old age… what do you prefer?
"Kagome is safe."
For three years he had kept the thought to himself but today he had finally answered the old woman's questions. In order to keep up Shippo's spirits the dog demon had never voiced it aloud. The kitsune had been hit hard when Kagome had not returned after a month. After the first year Shippo decided that the best way to get the miko to return was to train and perfect his kitsune magic. He had taken her absence to mean some lack in his character. Frequently, the boy left the village to train and hone his skill. Eventually the local forest kitsune took notice and began to teach him their craft. Inu Yasha had never met the reclusive teachers but by the scent on Shippo's clothes when he returned he could tell there were at least three of them. The half demon did not stop him. Kitsune were not like regular feral demons. They did not attack humans but they did often make contact with them. Kitsune played their mysterious games with humans for no apparent reason. They did not need to eat but did so on occasion. To Inu Yasha's discerning eye he assumed they did so for kicks or to blend in with humans when they were playing one of their games. However, they still made him edgy, but the learning experience had distracted the boy from the possibility of a life without his beloved miko. For that, Inu Yasha was grateful.
Kaede persisted in her questioning. The dog-demon became irritated.
"Idiot, there are other people who need and love Kagome."
Speaking the thought aloud immediately brought back memories of his last moments with the miko. Their fight with Naraku was finally at an end and they had magically appeared in her time period. Immediately, her family rushed up to embrace the girl. Her tears and her cries made him realize how dangerous his time truly was.
"At that time, I was just relieved to send Kagome home… Kagome's mom and brother and grandpa were all crying and stuff."
She had a life in her time period and a family. What could he offer her in his world but death and destruction? Kagome's family cried for her. They needed her and she obviously needed them.
"I'm not the only person who Kagome is important to, after all."
"Inu Yasha saved me!"
Thinking back on it, three years later, Kagome might as well have said, "Water is wet." Of course Inu Yasha saved her! He always swept in at the last second and saved the day. She had been trapped in a dark place for what seemed to be an eternity before he had broken through and rescued her. She had been so relieved to be out of Naraku's reach that she had blurted out the most obvious statement of the century. Everyone had been crying. She was crying. It was all somewhat silly in retrospect. Inu Yasha was quiet. She could feel his eyes on her and something compelled her to turn back to him; still wrapped up in the embrace of her loved ones. He had worn one of his more enigmatic expressions and she could not tell for certain but he looked…sad…and then a bright light enveloped him and he vanished.
She called his name, but it was too late. He was gone.
From then on Kagome had jumped back into school all over again. She would not go near the well for a long time. At first she had told her mother that Inu Yasha would pop out and collect her all over again so there was no point in going near it. A few months later her mother suggested that she might go by the well and check around. It had been far too long of an absence, even if Inu Yasha was angry. Kagome had snapped at her and told her to leave her alone. She apologized immediately afterward but her family knew what the girl wouldn't admit: she was afraid of the well.
It was not exactly the well she was afraid of but the fear of the possibility that something terrible would pull her into the same darkness. Kagome would barely acknowledge that Naraku had left her in such an awful place—apparently she had been there for days, too. Besides, she assured herself, Inu Yasha would come for her at some point. If he was with her then they could go through the well together and she would not have to be afraid.
Months went by and the miko threw herself into her studies. Finishing high school became her goal in life. A year went by and she was drawn to volunteer at her local hospital. She told her mother and Souta that school was not enough and she wanted to do more. At the time her mother had given her a look that said she knew something Kagome did not. Three years later she was certified in CPR and had graduated to patient-care liaison. Strangely, time seemed to move slowly for her.
Graduation came and went. Her friends talked excitedly about their intended careers while she listened in quiet amusement. Listening to her friends' plans made her feel suddenly left out. They had their futures while she remained somewhere in limbo. Eventually everyone dispersed and she was left alone with her thoughts.
As the dark tendrils of fear that had plagued her heart began to dissipate over the last three years it had come to her knowledge that she could no longer enter the well on her own. For two years she had wondered why. On graduation day it dawned on her.
"The reason the well won't connect is probably because of my feelings."
Admitting it out loud left her heart cold. It was not that Inu Yasha would not come for her—it was she who would not go to him. Her fear of the well had long since dissipated, so what kept her? She had always been late for Inu Yasha's pick-ups because of school. Perhaps, her thoughts of finishing school had kept her back?
"What I had to do is done and now I am forever in my—in this—world; a world without Inu Yasha."
"This world" did not feel like her world any more. At first she thought she was experiencing some sort of backwards homesickness for the Sengoku period. It was true that she missed it… but something else bothered her more. Now she knew what it was. She missed Miroku, Sango, Shippo, and everyone else but more so she missed Inu Yasha. It felt wrong to wake up in the morning and not have the grumpy hanyou haunting her every footstep; haranguing her until she finally acquiesced and allowed him to whisk her back. She found herself missing everything involving him; his ramen obsession, his eyes, his smile, and even his scowls. Had school been worth it if it meant a life without him?
"Inu Yasha, I want to be with you."
Without knowing it Kagome found herself at the well. Through the last year she had stood at the edge of the well staring in to its depths; and there she was again. The well gaped below her, silent. A soft touch on her shoulder made her realize her mother had caught her; watching and waiting. She too was watching and waiting. Instinctively, her mother knew that it was only a matter of time before she left. The girl was in love.
Suddenly, the miko tensed. The sky felt heavier and her heart began to pound. It was time.
"Mama I'm… going back."
Inu Yasha was uneasy. The kids crawled all over him but he took little notice. His discussion with Kaede had left him feeling frustrated. She was right about one thing, though. He had matured. The old dog demon would have stormed off and hid out in the woods to revel in his misery alone. Now he could not, nor would not, do that. While Kaede's village had little trouble the surrounding villages still suffered from demon raids and possessions. Since the fall of Naraku the feral demons had gone, for lack of a better word, wilder. The feral ones no longer attacked villages in organized packs, which was good. Instead, a single demon would occasionally burst into someone's village and tear into anything that moved until it had been mortally wounded. Miroku and Inu Yasha had also found evidence that feral demons which normally hunted in packs, like boar demons, were killing and eating each other for no apparent reason. They found demon dens filled with the corpses of their own kin. It was eerie, but attacks were down all over, so it was merely a footnote, if not a nice perk, to daily life.
A touch on his ears sent a shiver down his spine. For a split second he remembered when Kagome had touched his ears—until the twins tugged. The painful reminder was enough to irritate him.
"Hey, do something about the twins."
Miroku chastised them and Sango apologized, he even ignored Shippo's 'toy' comment. They tugged away on his ears but something else had caught his attention. The wind had changed directions and with it a familiar scent wafted past his nose. In one swift move he plucked the squealing, wriggling girls off his head and deposited them on the kitsune.
"Go slay the kitsune."
They dove upon the boy with gusto while Shippo protested loudly. Inu Yasha stood up so he could catch the scent again. It could have been a trick of his imagination. Standing above the two children covered in scents would give him a better chance to check for sure. Another breath gave him his answer. It was Kagome's scent.
The dog demon charged towards the well. The scent grew stronger and his hopes rose with each step. Finally, the well was in view and he screeched to a halt in front of it. For a moment he hesitated. Her scent was all around him but still he worried that it could be an illusion or some dream. He took a breath, stepped forward, and reached down into the inky blackness.
Delicate fingers curled around his hand. He hauled up her light form, relief washed over him as her eyes locked onto his. He breathed her name and she smiled back at him with tears shimmering at the corners of her eyes.
"Inu Yasha, I'm sorry, were you waiting?"
"You idiot… what have you been up to?" He grabbed her and held her close, breathing in her scent. His claws curled into her hair and he stared at her back. Instinctively, he knew it was real but still the dog demon feared if he shut his eyes for a moment she might vanish into a dream. His fears were shattered when Miroku with Sango, children, and Shippo in tow ruined their peaceful reunion.
As if to confirm it to everyone Kagome said, "Miroku, Sango, Shippo, I'm back."