Author Notes: I really think there is a lack of Inuyasha AU fanfics out there. Now that the manga is over, everyone seems to be writing their version of what happens after Takahashi's happily ever after. I just wanted to break away from that for a bit and throw in some AU situations. Also, I will most likely not do a fanfic about Inuyasha and Kagome's life post-manga. "Remembering You," is my interpretation of the end. Granted, it is not canon when considering the end, but that's the end I put them in. I don't need so many "continuation" fics in my portfolio. Anyways, tell me what you think!
Disclaimer: The Inuyasha world and all characters depicted are a creation of mangaka, Takahashi Rumiko.
Kagome flailed her arms at the bus that would be her salvation home. After a long day of school the last thing she needed was to be stuck on the street corner waiting an hour and a half for the next bus.
She thanked all the public transportation gods when she saw the bus screech to a slow stop and door swing open. Grinning at the mechanical wave-over she leapt onto the bus. The bus driver shook his head while smiling at the young woman, "That's the second time this week Kagome."
She waved a friendly hello and situated herself in the seat directly behind the bus driver. "And you know I appreciate it every time, Phil."
The older man knowingly nodded and pulled the bus forward. Kagome situated herself in the side seat and caught sight of the very full bus. "You have quite a crowd here today."
"It's the long weekend. Everyone's rushing home."
"Do you have the weekend off too?"
They pulled over at the next stop. "I have a short shift on Monday, but aside from that I have my days off."
Kagome grinned leaning toward the man as he made sure the two new passengers paid their fare. "Anything fun planned?"
He pulled the lever to close the door and pulled into traffic once again, "My granddaughter's fifth birthday."
The man nodded, "She's been hinting for a house for her Barbies."
Kagome laughed, "I remember when I asked for my Barbie dream house for Christmas when I was little. My dad had to battle it out with all the other crazed parents to get a hold of the box in the toy store."
Phil chuckled, "It wasn't too bad because it's the off season, but it was hard to track down."
"I'm sure she'll be ecstatic."
Pulling up to another stop she watched as young woman came on board. Kagome had a tendency recognize most the faces of the passengers, but this was a new face. As a new a face as the woman's could seem.
The woman in question sat down directly in front of her and Kagome couldn't help from staring. It was like she was looking a mirror –if the mirror changed her eye color to brown and aged her by about five years. The woman was busy texting on her phone, but eventually looked up when she got the sensation she was being observed.
Kagome had the decency to blush a bit when she was caught staring, but couldn't take her eyes away. The woman was startled by the odd familiarity, but smiled at the over-observant girl.
Kagome crept forward on her seat, "It's kind of weird right?"
The woman let out a delicate laugh, "A little."
That's when the illusion of finding her twin was lost. This woman in front of her may look like her, but obviously did not share the same personality. She was prim, proper, beautiful, polite, and perfect. And she probably wouldn't have failed at alliteration.
However, she figured she owed the woman an introduction, "I'm Kagome."
Kagome mentally groaned, even her name was delicate. "You don't ride the bus often do you?"
She smiled, "My car broke down this morning."
Kagome nodded and was about to ask another noncommittal question when she noticed one of the regulars boarding. She kept an eye on the young man. He had a tendency to cause problems, and even though Phil always told her not to get involved –her sense of social order and justice prevented her from sitting back.
It didn't help that the young man sat in an antagonizing close seat to another guy that he seemed to always start things with. The two men's eyes met. Kagome gripped edge of her seat, ready to step in. In a split second, the quiet of the bus was filled with their yelling and punches and kicks went flying. Because of the close quarters and the sheer capacity of it –it was only a matter time before someone got caught it the fist fight.
Kikyo was startled to see Kagome stand up to stop the boys. She was mesmerized by the spirit of the girl as she shoved between the two. Pushing one with force into their seat, the other boy was slightly taller and subsequently stronger.
"Get out of my way you little bitch!"
Kagome shoved her weight into the man, "Calm down and sit your ass down!"
Phil's voice boomed from the front, "Get away from him Kagome!"
A businessman got up from his seat to retain the violent boy. It was during the commotion that no one really saw what happened next. It wasn't Phil's fault. It really wasn't anyone's except for the two who started the fight. It happened faster than anyone expected. The semi-truck careened into the side of the bus. Kagome eyes widened as her head knocked against the window. Her world went black.
The first thing she heard was a steady beeping. Incessant and strong beeping. She tried opening her eyes, but they were covered with some sort of gauze. They also hurt like there was no tomorrow, so she figured her eyes had done enough work in her life that they were going to go through a well deserved rest.
It was amazing how everything hurt. From her toes all the way to her head. She could have sworn that her hair hurt. Regardless of the pain, she needed to know where she was. She didn't get any farther than twitching her left index finger.
"Kikyo?" The voice that resonated into her brain was unfamiliar. It was relieved and hopeful.
She tried to say to whoever it was that they had the wrong person. He was saying the name of the woman that could have passed for her twin, but it wasn't her. That she was Kagome Higurashi -but she couldn't get a voice out. She was mute and blind.
"Are you awake?" The voice prodded her, but Kagome didn't know how to let the person know that yes, she was awake, but no, she wasn't Kikyo.
"Miss Shimizu? If you can hear me tap your finger." This time it was a different voice, one that was a bit more authoritative.
Willing her finger to move she taped her finger weakly against a soft surface.
"You're in the hospital. You've been in terrible accident. You suffered severe lacerations to your eyes so they needed to be sutured and bandaged. Don't worry, we predict you'll gain most if not all of your eye sight."
She figured that little explanation warranted a response, so she tapped her finger once again.
"You're also intubated. Your airway collapsed. Aside from some broken bones, lacerations, and bruises you're going to be fine. Your MRI scan came back with no visible problems. You don't have any internal bleeding and aside from your injuries, everything seems to be in working order." She felt a gentle squeeze on her upper arm. "We called your emergency contact, Mr. Touken. He's right here with you. I know this may be very scary for you, but relax. You're in good hands."
Kagome mentally sighed. They had no idea how scary. She was obviously living through a case of mistaken identity, and she didn't have the means to tell them otherwise.
She heard the voice from before mumbling with the doctor for a bit, and the shuffling of feet. She wondered if she was left alone in the room. Her mind drifted as she allowed the situation to sink in. The doctors were treating her without even knowing who she was. She thanked her lucky stars for not having any medical allergies. It was unfortunate that her family was unaware of her debilitated, but apparently hopeful, state. The moment the tube was removed from her throat, she would tell the doctor and this unfortunate Mr. Touken who she was.
"You know I was surprised when I got the call about the accident Kikyo. I seriously didn't think you would put me down as an emergency contact." His tone was not overly emotional, but it was friendly. Kagome wondered if this disembodied male voice and 'Kikyo' held a relationship. If so, they needed to express their feelings better. This guy sounded like he found out a colleague just got hit by a bus… or a truck.
"But I guess with your sister studying abroad in the states now, a co-worker would be the next best thing." Kagome mentally grinned. Bingo. She loved being right.
"The first thing you're doing once you get better is finding friends. And when I say friends, I mean people outside of work."
Who was he to lecture 'Kikyo' on her personal life? If she wanted to be a recluse who only worried about work and family, let her be.
"Let's get a communication system going here. One tap means 'no' and two means 'yes.' Got it?"
This was so cliché. If her eyes were open he would have probably asked for the same system, except he would have asked her to blink. But she figured it was really the only way she could respond to the outside world. She tapped her finger twice.
"Do you want me to call your sister?"
Kagome mulled that over. She didn't feel right having a sister she did not have rushing to the hospital to find the wrong person hooked up to the heart monitor. She tapped her finger once.
"Fine. Do you want me to leave?"
Although she was mentally exhausted, she didn't want the mystery man to leave. If he left, the only company she would have was the beeping and the steady pumping of what she assumed was the respirator machine. She wasn't ready to be alone and left with her wildly spinning mind. She tapped once.
"Do you want me to keep talking?"
"I would ask you for the topic of conversation, but I don't know Morse code… though I wouldn't put it past you to know it."
There was a pregnant silence that stretched for what felt like hours. She wondered if he was going to say anything. Was 'Kikyo' not someone he was used to talking to?
The silence remained for a while, then he gave a small sound which sounded suspiciously like an 'aha.'
"Want to hear about why Sango stapled Miroku's tie to the break room bulletin board?"
She mentally laughed at the image. She didn't know who these people were, but she appreciated the man's attempt to lighten the mood. She tapped her finger once.
Kagome wondered if it was day two or day three since she realized she was in this bed. Her hours were bleeding together. There was no reference as to the time or what day it was. She wondered if this was what limbo felt like.
"How's it going Kikyo?"
She mentally smiled. It was him again. Mr. Touken. She hadn't caught his first name yet, and she wondered if she ever would. The nurses and doctors respectfully called him by his last name, and he never introduced himself. Although it would be an odd gesture for co-workers to go through formal introductions, she found it annoying that he never did. He seemed assume that she would be able to recognize him by his voice. Which she was able to do, being that he was her only visitor.
"Still got the tube huh?"
She had also gathered from their previous one-sided conversation, that he was very casual toward 'Kikyo.' His words were always half joking, but she could tell he was trying his best to be a good friend.
"Any news on when it's going to come out?"
"No rush. Trust me, I've been breathing solo for twenty-four years and its nothing to write home about."
Kagome mentally smiled.
"Oh, and you can't see it but I have this ridiculous looking stuffed animal with me. Sango said it was a bear, but I'm pretty sure it's a beaver. It's a get well soon gift. She figured you wouldn't be able to appreciate food or flowers, being as you're all Helen Keller right now."
She would have laughed if she could. He was being highly politically incorrect, but it was lifting her spirits. If she could, she would have corrected him by pointing out that she wasn't deaf.
She could hear the loud skidding of what she assumed was a heavy wooden chair. The sound settled next to her, and he let out a sigh. Apparently Mr. Touken was making himself comfortable.
"So do you want me to talk again?"
God yes. She was bored out her mind and she needed a break from the beeping. Granted, if the beeping stopped, life was over. So she currently maintained a love-hate relationship with the heart monitor. Double tap.
"What do want to hear about? Option one: work rumors. Option two: international affairs. Option three: childhood anecdotes. Option four: Britney Spears flashing the world her bits... again."
As much as needed to catch up on world news and celebrity gossip, she was intrigued by the option of learning about his past. Also, rumors in the work places were only interesting if you knew the people in question. She steadily tapped her finger three times.
"Seriously? You don't want to hear about Jakotsu asking Kouga out?"
"Fine. Let's see, childhood anecdotes… oh, I know. I'll tell you about the time I superglued my brother's hand to a doorknob."
She listened intently as the roomed filled with his tales of yore. His usually gruff and strong voice was lilted with boy-like mischief. As he drifted from one story to the next, Kagome wondered if 'Kikyo' and this man were close. From the occasional footnotes he inserted, she got the feeling that this was probably the first time 'Kikyo' heard things from Mr. Touken's personal life.
There was nothing else to base her passage of time except for the mystery man. Actually, that was a lie. There was something else, the visit of nurses every ten minutes –but she lost count somewhere around nurse visit number eighty-four. She did know, however, that it was Mr. Touken visit number five. What she wondered was how many days she had been in the hospital.
"Just heard the good news."
Her ears perked at his words. The doctors had the odd tendency of updating him on her health. They failed to inform her every time.
"They're removing the bandages around your eyes. Something about it being the second fastest healing organ or something."
This was amazing news. This was fantastic news. She could have sworn she heard the heart monitor skip a beat.
She would finally be able to see what her room looked like. Did she have a window? Was she near the nurses' station? What color was her hospital gown? But most importantly, what did Mr. Touken look like?
"Maybe we can play this finger tap game with blinks or winks. One blink: no. Two blinks: yes. Left wink: maybe. Right wink: fuck off."
She doubted she could maneuver her eyelids the way this man expected her to. Her little brother had always made fun of her inability to wink. Maybe with nothing else to do, she would train her eyes into the winking machine it had the potential to be.
"My question is when you're going to get that breathing tube out. It would be nice for this to turn into a two-way conversation. I'm running out of things to tell you. You're pretty much caught up on my entire life, which means I'm going to have to kill you now."
She mentally rolled her eyes, but smiled. She did know an outrageous amount of information about a stranger. As much as she knew about him, she still didn't know his first name.
"It's going to be weird working with you, now that you know that I'm the one that blew up the microwave in the break room. How was I supposed to know you couldn't put a metal fork in there?"
She appreciated his stories. She wondered if she would have made it if she didn't have his companionship. Her family was no doubt tending to Kikyo and calling her Kagome. She guessed that the other girl must have been unconscious or in a very similar situation as herself.
Regardless of the painkillers, the pain was excruciating. If her mind wasn't occupied with the mystery of this man, it would have probably crept into darker corners. She would have fretted over her recovery, her stalled education, her friends and family. Instead, she had Mr. Touken and she would be eternally grateful -in spite of his foul mouth.
"Maybe with your vision back you could help me pick out a scarf. I've been meaning to buy one with the weather getting cold, but I wanted a woman's advice on color."
She wondered if she would be able to give her input without being able to voice anything.
"I see you have your usual visitor Miss Shimizu." The doctors voice rang through the room.
Her heart fluttered. The apparition of the doctor could only mean that it was time to get her bandages off. She would finally be able to see.
"I'm sure Mr. Touken already told you the big news. I'm just going to bring your bed up on an incline a bit."
She heard the grinding of the small motor as her body was moved to a sitting position. She felt an odd tingle in her throat, but wrote it off as the intubation tube adjusting itself.
The feel of cold sheers grazed her face. The doctor carefully peeled back the bandages. Her eyes were still covered in gauze and medical tape.
"I thought it was going to be a lot more dramatic. You know, like in the movies where they roll the bandage off." She couldn't deny that she had thought the same thing Mr. Touken said.
The doctored continued on deftly with this work. His hands gently worked on the gauze. "It's not like we're going to use these bandages again."
Her eyes were finally free. She could tell that there was light beyond her sutured eyelids.
"That looks gross."
Kagome couldn't wait till she could actually roll her eyes at Mr. Touken's comments.
The doctor sighed, "Let's try to be a little bit more delicate toward your fiancé."
With each snip the stitches came free. But that wasn't what occupied Kagome's mind. Fiancé? The word resonated through her mind. Was it possible that Mr. Touken, who barely seemed to know Kikyo and seemed to treat her more as a casual friend was actually her fiancé?
"All set. Now let's see those gorgeous brown eyes of yours Miss Shimizu."
She barely registered the doctor's words before she felt her throat constrict. She struggled against the painful pressure and mouth gaped open. The heart monitor was kicked up with erratic beeps. Was she going to die? It seemed cruel to end her life when she was finally about to meet the enigmatic Mr. Touken.
"What's going on? What's happening?"
"Calm down Mr. Touken." Then she felt the tube pulled out of the mouth and throat. She took in a gasping breath. "She's just breathing on her own now. It's normal to choke on a tube rammed down your windpipe."
Kagome took in mouthfuls of air. She blinked her eyes open, but everything was a blur. She could only see blotches of color. Nothing concrete, and nothing that could help her recognize faces.
"Wow, big moment for you Kikyo. Breathing and seeing all at once. You're going to be dancing in these halls in no time."
She whipped her eyes toward Mr. Touken's voice, "I-I can't see."
A bright light flashed into her eyes. "Your eyes are reacting properly to the light. You can't see anything at all Miss Shimizu?"
"Colors and light." Her throat burned with her words, they were barely above a whisper.
The bright light disappeared and doctor said calmly, "That's perfectly normal. You have hyphema, bleeding in the eye. You'll gain your vision eventually and I'm confident that you'll recover full use."
"Are her eyes supposed to be blue?"
The light was flashing back in her eyes.
There was a disbelieving tone in the doctor's voice, "This is impossible."
Kagome gulped down air. Her throat was scorched. She had never felt so thirsty in her life. In her final vocal effort, she rasped out the answer to their questions.
"I'm not Kikyo. You have the wrong girl."
Kagome frantically rubbed her hands together. She had no idea why she left her apartment on such a cold day without any gloves, but she wasn't about to head home just for some cold digits. She loved the park in the winter and she wasn't going to prematurely end her stroll.
The park was littered sporadically with the occasional person. Only the truly devoted would venture into the public park in the cold.
Leaves crunched under her boots as she veered off of the path toward her favorite bench. It was the perfect place to people watch. Settling herself down on the bench she sighed and pulled her wool blazer further closed. She wondered if it was time to pull out the winter coat. The days were getting colder and shorter.
She sighed. Five years had passed since the accident on the bus. Five years since the extreme case of mistaken identity. Five years since she'd seen Mr. Touken.
Everything happened in a quick blur soon after she had revealed she wasn't Kikyo. Mr. Touken was rushed out of the room, no longer being allowed to visit. From what she assumed, he hadn't bothered trying after being swept out.
In flurry of doctors and nurses, she eventually found out that her family had been morning her death for the past week. Kikyo had died soon after the accident. Even though she only knew the woman for the brief moment on the bus, Kagome mourned for her.
The accident had caused most if not all the passengers to be rushed off to different hospitals around town. When her family found out about her whereabouts and that she was not dead, they transported her to the hospital near their home. Her family visited her every day. Her friends came at least once a week. Mr. Touken never came. She couldn't blame him, she was a stranger to the man. He was probably also self-conscious around someone that knew so much about him.
Even so, Kagome made it her mission to find him. She wanted to thank him. His visits to her hospital bedside had been a large part of her recovery. But how do you find someone when you didn't know his name?
When she was finally discharged after months being in the hospital, she tried tracking down any clues. She attempted to find where Kikyo Shimizu had worked, but her name was more common than Kagome had expected. Even though she had lived the woman's life for a week, the hospital would not relinquish any facts on the dead woman. She had no right to her phone, address, family, or fiancé. She hadn't expected to reach a dead end so quickly.
Five years had passed and she was no closer to finding Mr. Touken then she was that fateful day she rasped out her true identity.
Kagome readjusted the scarf around her neck as she tried to fight off the cold. Her scarf was masculine and grey. She had bought it on a whim. It had stared at her from the display case in the department store. She could only remember how Mr. Touken had asked her help to pick out a scarf. She picked one out. Now where was he?
Her friends told her to forget the mystery man. If she didn't find him within a year how did she expect to find him in five? The only markers she knew of his was that his last name was Touken and the calming sound of his voice.
Kagome sighed and lied down on the bench. The cold from wood seeped through her clothes, but she kept her place. She gazed up at the sky. The entire world faded away when she watched the clouds fluff by.
"A maiden in distress."
Kagome heard the stage whisper but ignored it. It wouldn't be the first time that a passerby thought she was a freak for lounging on a bench in a public park.
"Leave her alone. She might be crazy."
Kagome sighed. Another one. Another person with a voice that sounded strikingly like Mr. Touken's. She had embarrassed herself on more than one occasion by running up to a complete stranger and asking his name. After three years, she stopped. It was odd and also a bit dangerous to go up to random men.
"She looks harmless. Maybe she's dead."
"You just want to feel her up."
"What are you implying Inuyasha?"
"I'm not implying anything. I'm saying you're a pervert out to cop a feel."
She squirmed a little bit. Maybe relaxing on a park bench was extremely dangerous. It was only a matter of time before she got assaulted right? Sighing, she sat up but avoided looking at the two men.
"See. Alive. Now let's go. And make Kirara go number two."
She stole a brief glance at the men to see that one was being tugged away by a small yellow lab.
"It's not like I can force her Inuyasha. How would you feel if someone told you to have a bowel movement on command?"
"Stop talking about my bowel movements."
Kagome scrunched her nose. The conversation between the two men went south and she needed to leave. Pulling herself off the bench she walked the opposite direction.
"Why are you walking Sango's dog anyway?"
"Because I get lucky whenever I do?"
"You're a pig Miroku."
She froze at the names. The very familiar names of two people from Mr. Touken and Kikyo Shimizu's office.
The cold wind whipped around her as she quickly turned toward the two retreating men. The man walking the dog was blocked from her mind as she stared at the back of the man with long silver hair tied neatly at the nape of his neck. He was completely unfamiliar, but she was drawn to him.
Stepping toward them a bit and she paused. How was she supposed to stop them? As they were about to turn a corner away from view she shouted the only thing that came to mind. "Mr. Touken!"
The men turned at the loud voice. Kagome locked her blue eyes with exotic amber ones.
A silence fell upon them. It seemed too fragile with the cold air surrounding them. Neither dared to break the moment. So the other man spoke up instead, "Oh my god. Inuyasha, she looks just like-"
The silver haired man raised an arm telling his friend to stop. He continued to stare at the young woman in front of him.
Kagome gulped down the knot in her throat, it was now or never. "Were you Kikyo Shimizu's fiancé?"
The man furrowed his brows, "She's dead."
She winced at his words, but more at hers. She should have showed a little bit more tact. "I know, I'm sorry. It's just I'm-"
"The girl from the hospital."
A small precarious smile graced her lips, "You remember."
"I'm sorry about your fiancé. I'm sure it was difficult."
The man shook his head, "We were friends from work. The hospital wouldn't let me see her. She didn't have anyone else that would visit her so I said she was my fiancé."
"Oh..." Kagome contemplated his words as she continued to study him.
She had anticipated the meeting for years now. She had built it up so much that she didn't know what to say. She also had not expected to find such an attractive man at the end of her search. His facial features were sharp and his form was sturdy and slender. His coloring was something she had never seen before, but couldn't deny that it suited him very well. But nothing drew her in like his voice. The sound that had kept her morale up during her recovery.
"I wanted to thank you, but I didn't know your first name."
The man nodded, "It's Inuyasha."
Kagome smiled, "I'm convinced you're the reason why I'm here today."
He frozen in place, his eyes widened slightly at her words but he made no move to say anything else.
Nodding she tugged the scarf off from around her neck and extended it out toward him, "You asked me to help pick one out for you. I've been using it for a while, but it's still in good condition. It was supposed to be a thank you gift."
When Inuyasha didn't take the initiative, his friend stepped forward. "He appreciates it. I'm Miroku by the way."
Kagome registered the man that took the scarf from her, but she glanced back at the man of her interest. Seeing his lack of a reaction she sighed.
"Thank you for everything." She turned away from them, "Bye Inuyasha."
As she walked away, she couldn't deny that she was severely disappointed by his reaction. She had played the moment in her mind a million times, and none of her scenarios had complete lack of reaction from him. Their reunion was something she looked forward to, but it barely registered in his life.
When she was good many steps away, she felt a light tug on her hand. Looking down in surprise at the male hand encompassing her own, she followed the arm up to the owner's face. His golden eyes stared into hers. Her soul felt like it was getting prodded at.
His mouth hesitated over words. He bit his lower lip, and then finally spoke. "I tried to find you. But they wouldn't tell me who you were. I wanted to know if you were alright."
She nodded and smiled. He had looked for her. That was enough.
His next gesture surprised her, but she didn't flinch. His fingers skated over her arm, up her shoulder, and threaded through her hair. He familiarized himself with the soft texture while he looked over the familiar girl.
Inuyasha then asked the question that she had hoped he would be curious enough to ask. That he would have cared enough to wonder.
"What's your name?"
Kagome chocked back a sob that crossed with a laugh. A tear escaped her and she smiled.
He panicked at seeing the tear. His eyes were confused and worried. She shook her head and grinned, "My name's Kagome. Kagome Higurashi, and you changed my life."