Stay With You

Author: Stormy

Archive: http://stormyfics.homestead.com/fanfics.html

Date posted: 04/01/2002

Warnings: Sap, WAFF, deathfic, angst

Notes:  This is a one-shot piece of fiction I wrote – it came to me while I was checking out a few image galleries while listening to "Dearest". That song has got to be the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard and I urge you to download it – it is well worth it.

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Would you stay with me?

She was always there.

I couldn't seem to remember a time when she wasn't. From the time I opened my eyes from a cursed sleep, she was right there beside me. Fighting with me, arguing with me, defending me, crying for me. Against my own wishes, she became an integral part of me; somehow sneaking past all of the barriers I had erected around my heart. My human heart had always been my one weakness – giving it away brought nothing but pain. I presented an outside front that said 'keep away' but she ignored the warning signs and against my better judgement, I let her inside.

She knew I could never promise her forever. Kagome was my best friend, and in my heart, my love – but I couldn't give her what she wanted. She knew that. She knew my heart was torn, split between her and my past. Between her and Kikyo.

Would you stay with me?

 She knew that if Kikyo asked me, I would go with her, would die for her. I owed Kikyo. I had played a part, albeit a reluctant one in her death. Our relationship had been brought to a painful close, without any actual closure. And when she was brought back….let's just say her resurrection brought back some issues that would never be resolved for as long as I lived.

Kagome knew all this. Still she asked if she could stay and I all but selfishly begged her to. Even though a part of myself belonged to Kikyo, the rest of me was devoted to Kagome. I could only offer her friendship, and a half-love. She decided that was enough.

Would you stay with me?

We travelled together for years, her and I. Even after we eventually defeated Naraku and restored the Shikon No Tama to its former glory. When Naraku was killed by me with the help of Tetsusaiga and surprisingly enough, Sesshomarou who was tired of playing lapdog to a fellow demon, I couldn't decide whether or not to use the jewel to wish myself human. Kagome asked me, so matter-of-factly, why did I have to decide right away? I agreed that there was no rush, and so Kagome took on the role as priestess and caretaker of the Shikon. I remained with her as her guardian. I would never let any harm come to her. Still,  I was restless and eager to keep moving, and Kagome knew it.  She had no objections when I asked her to continue in our self-proclaimed professions as demon hunters.

Our companions came with us for a while before deciding to settle down and start new lives of their own. Miroku decided to stay with Sango. They built a home close to where Sango's old village was. We visited them often, watching as the years passed and Sango gave birth to several healthy children, all of whom had the dark hair and eyes of their loving parents. Miroku made a good father, amazingly devoted to his children.  Shippo stayed with us the longest, seeing Kagome as a surrogate mother. Eventually, he too decided to stay with Miroku and Sango, becoming the beloved 'niisan' to all their little ones. Last I heard, he had fallen for their oldest daughter and was still with her.

Would you stay with me?

Kaede lived for sometime after. Kagome was in her thirties by the time Kaede passed away, well into her eighties. All of us gathered and mourned together. Yeah, even I mourned the old one – she was a remarkable human, possessing a cunning wit that hadn't withered with age. After her funeral pyre burned to ashes, Kagome and I gathered them and spread them on the river, letting them flow as far as the eye could see, and hoping her spirit was just as free.

Kikyo had vanished soon after our fight with Naraku. She told me that until I willingly chose death with her, she would hate me with all of her heart and what was left of my soul. She never outright asked me to die however, and I clung to life with Kagome but never gave Kikyo an honest and upfront answer. I was cowardly – holding on to the past and refusing a dead soul the peace she deserved, and refusing to let go of the present, selfishly denying Kagome a future. Her future. But I couldn't help it.

Occasionally Kagome would visit her home in the future, but the visits made her sad, and eventually she stopped going. Only once did I ask her why, and all she would say that was her family was moving on, used to her long absences, and that her home was here in the past. I never asked again.

Would you stay with me?

Time passed. Kagome remained strong and beautiful even when she celebrated her fortieth birthday. We stayed with Sango and Miroku and I watched as she cradled their youngest son in her arms, a precocious five year old that loved his 'Auntie Kagome' as she told him to call her. Shippo had grown into a fine looking young demon but his love for Kagome hadn't faded with time and distance. She hugged him, still holding the young child in her arms, and not for the first time I noted how maternal she looked, how right she looked with a child in her arms. I ached to be the one to give her that life that she craved. But I couldn't. While she deserved that happiness, I did not. But I couldn't make myself force her to leave me – I needed her too much.

It wasn't until soon after Kagome's forty-sixth birthday that tragedy struck. A demon, more powerful then I snuck up on us during the one night of the month I spent as a human. I fought with all my heart and what little strength I possessed but I was no match for it. Kagome couldn't reach her arrows in time and I watched the events unfold with horror in my eyes.

With one blow Kagome was cut down. I lay there, unable to move as the demon celebrated his victory over the 'guardian witch.' As he went for the jewel though, the rays of the dawning sun struck the earth and my power was restored to me, too late.

Would you stay with me?

Suffice to say, I obliterated the demon, leaving nothing but sprayed blood throughout the clearing where we fought. Still weak from my battle as a human,  I turned and staggered to Kagome, falling to my knees beside her.

She was dying. I knew it and she knew it. The fading light in her eyes struck me with a blow worse then any punch I had taken during all my years of travelling by her side. Still, there was hope and I gently held the Shikon jewel in my hands, knowing what I had to do. The jewel pulsed gently as I called to it, using my bond with her to activate the power within.

Then her hand weakly grasped mine and I froze as she gently tried to pry my hands off. My eyes darted to hers and I saw understanding in those clear blue depths, understanding and a firm resolution. She shook her head once and I wanted to shake her, demand to know WHY she was letting that bastard win, why she was so set on dying. Why she wanted to leave me. But I knew. Even as she opened her mouth to try and speak and blood gurgled out instead, I knew.

I could see the weariness in her eyes. She was tired of fighting for her life on a daily basis. She was weary of living as a nomad just to satisfy my selfish desires. She'd had enough of playing second to Kikyo.

None of this was found in her eyes though. Only love, love for me and everything we had showed her gaze that focused on my with every ounce of strength she possessed. She wanted peace. But I wanted her.

I couldn't fathom life without her beside me. I couldn't go on, content in a life of demon-slaying if I couldn't have her bright spark there to cheer me on, to cheer me up. My hand wavered over the crystal as I looked at her, sorrow and selfishness all wrapped into a determined look on my face that was unmistakeable. She saw my determination and the look she gave me was full of both love and resignation. She nodded reluctantly and waited for me to make my wish.

Would you stay with me?

I couldn't do it. I watched her body convulse and I opened my mouth to utter the words that would restore her to health and the words wouldn't come. Instead, my eyes travelled back up her face and looked at those eyes, those eyes that cared so much.

Once again, she was deferring her wishes to please me. She was willing to do what I wanted, as she always had, as I had always taken for granted. I looked into pools of crystalline blue and made a decision. I would let her have the peace she craved. She tried to speak and I tried to calm her, telling her to save her strength, but she shook her head again, weaker this time, and she tried to take my hand.

" S-Stay…w-w-ithh m-me…" she choked out, blood running down the side of her mouth. I gave her my hand and for once let all the love I felt for her echo in my eyes as I squeezed gently. I couldn't let her go, and I brought my other hand to cover the jewel that rested in the hollow of her throat. I shook my head and her eyes widened but I lay my finger on her lips before she could speak.

" No…" I whispered, my words nearly catching in my throat. " But…can I stay with you?"

The jewel pulsed again, heat and light radiating from inside it, warming my hand where it rested on top of it. Kagome nodded at me, smiling as her eyes closed for the last time, and as her soul began to leave its earthly shell, I felt myself slipping away too. My eyes closed and I felt a gentle hand, gossamer soft, take my hand.

" Always with you," I heard a voice say, and it echoed like bells in the valley. I let myself go and felt her arms wrap around me as I sighed, nestled in her embrace as we flew into eternity.

Together.

OWARI

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Sappy enough for ya? ^^ Well, what did you think?

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