Kimi Wo Mamoritai
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and I do not make money out of writing this story.
Rated M due to the mild lemon. Warning: Might be considered very sad. I cried while writing it.
[.] italic [.] = flashback
baka = idiot
arigatou = thank you
anata = it usually means you in a formal way, but wives call their husbands that, too, so it could be translated by dearest, I guess.
sayonara = goodbye
ja ne = see you
hai = yes
This is for you. Sweetheart, these words are only for you. It's been six years already, can you believe this? I can't – still can't, it still hurts, but I've accepted it. Don't laugh, but it's all because of you. That's how much you've changed me.
Are you smiling? Wherever you are, are you smiling and laughing with all your heart?
Kagome, are you loving with all your heart like you told me to? I, for one, am trying to.
I've met someone recently – Harada Kikyou. She's not you, she doesn't smile as often, she doesn't love as passionately, she doesn't whisper as gently, but I think I'm in love. Remember, Kagome? You told me to. Live on, you said. Stay happy. You said…
I don't remember all the things you said and sometimes it scares me so much that I can't breathe. I'm afraid of ever forgetting your voice, the scent of your soft skin in the morning, your smiling face whenever I was sad. I fear losing you, Kagome. Losing your memory, even if the mere concept seems so ridiculous to me that I can barely force myself to write such nonsense.
But Kagome, didn't you always say I'm a forgetful baka? You know that's true, and it still brings a smile to my lips imagining you say it. Inuyasha no baka. I wish I could hear you say it once more.
She calls me Seiji-kun. Kikyou, I think she's jealous of you, my love, so she refuses to call me Inuyasha. I think… perhaps, now you are the only one who will ever call me that. I'm glad about that. And you will, won't you? You promised to always be by my side, to always protect me. I know you're there. I can feel your presence sometimes.
"Nee, Inuyasha?" Your eyes betray you, sweetheart. You're moping, your brows are furrowed, even your chin expresses your frustration, but I can see right through you. What is it you want?
"Are you going to protect me forever?"
My heart is suddenly beating wildly against my constricting chest and I'm surprised by how much your innocent question physically hurts. I like it like this. This way, I feel I share some of your pain. Sweetheart, how much time do we really have? What is time, anyway? I'm breathless, but I can still talk, "Yes." It's a promise. I know the wind might not get to touch us both soon, but I still like to think I can protect you.
"Good," you nod excitedly, "I'll protect you, too." And I don't doubt you will. Why does it have to be you?
Your eyes are filled with the happiness I can only see when we are together – it's how much you love me, isn't it?
I want to give you everything. I want to take you to see the sea, it's what you've always dreamed of, I want to climb mountains with you, cook a lifetime of dinners with you, make the bed in the morning with you, sing silly tunes with you, but there's an odd pressure I feel. It's like time won't allow us to finish anything we plan. Is it always going to be like this, Kagome?
How long is our 'always and forever'?
But it doesn't matter. Not now when you're smiling so sweetly, your perfect teeth shining in the morning light. Your body is perfect, especially with the thin, almost see-through sheets pressed against it, as if you're trying to hide yourself from my hungry gaze. As if you were a most precious treasure waiting to be unveiled to the avid spectators. I've seen it all, though. I've seen your all.
"Here," you whisper, holding out a wrinkled piece of paper then you go into another fit of coughing that makes my heart wrench and my body squirm because of my failure to do anything for you. I can't save you. I move to hug you, but you stop me with a flick of your wrist. The letter. The piece of paper with your words, I understand, you want me to read it.
Carefully, my breath coming out in short huffs, I straighten the paper and start reading the neatly written letters, but I don't even get to see the first words because you've already stopped me. You want me to read it, but not now. Fine, fine, I'll do it your way. I love you.
"Okay," I whisper, taking your small form into my arms, deceiving myself that I'm protecting you from everything bad, lying to myself about how I won't let anything happen to you on my watch.
Look what you've done to me, Kagome.
"Inuyasha?" Your small, tentative voice overpowers any type of music in both intensity and passion. Will there ever be a time when I won't be able to hear you say, whisper or moan my name?
"I've been thinking. A lot. And lately…" Yes you have, it's the only thing that you seem to do, anymore. "I just… I think I've been a bit selfish."
Startled, my eyebrows jump skyward, "Eh?"
"I haven't thought about how it would be like for you. I mean, I have, and we've talked about it, but… Inuyasha, do you think it'll be better for you to forget me?"
I don't even know I'm crying until you brush your slender fingers against my cheeks to wipe away the tears. My heart clenches painfully, my blood flows rapidly, hotly inside my veins. These are the only things I can allow myself to focus on.
I don't want you to go. I don't want to forget. I will never forget.
"No," I answer weakly, the simplicity of my answer conveying everything I should tell you. That I love you, that I can't live without you… that I don't want to live in a world without Higurashi Kagome.
"Good," you declare with a smile and a nod, placing your hand on mine on the bed sheets. "Good, because I have an idea. I was meaning to ask you sooner. Stay here."
As if I would go anywhere without you. I hear you rummaging through your bags until you finally come back holding your camera. I watch you place it on the desk, facing the bed then see you approach me with that smile I adore so much.
"What's with that?" I ask, gesturing towards the camera lying peacefully on a couple of books, probably to capture everything.
"Memories," you answer plainly, caressing my cheek and waiting for me to rub it against your palm for a moment before you take me into your arms, my head resting against your perfect breasts, my breath tickling your naked skin. You're a sight for sore eyes, Kagome, and I'll miss you every single day of my life.
This time is gentle, gentler than ever, because I'm afraid of somehow breaking you. My caresses, your whispers, promises of undying love, my lips against the side of your neck, your chest bone, your nipples coated in my saliva, they all bind us stronger. I won't forget this. I'll never forget this.
My tears mingle with yours on your cheeks as our mouths mimic our rocking bodies. Our fingers are intertwined as we both walk a path we can only find together, hoping, praying for redemption, though it never comes. But it doesn't matter. You are here, I am here, and we love each other more than human mind can conceive.
You moan happily, "Inuyasha…"
Your lips part in a silent scream as we both reach our climaxes at the same time, relishing the sweetness and electric surge of power so pure... something so evanescent. Then you start coughing again, sitting up so you won't choke, and I hand you the handkerchief. You look exhausted.
The beauty of the moment wasn't marred by your cough, sweetheart. This is not your weakness, Kagome, it's your strength. You've taught me that. So I keep holding you and whispering words of reassurance and I find myself believing them. Because no matter what I won't give up on you. I know you won't, either.
I turn off the camera after a while, after everything's been said, after what had to be was done.
"Arigatou," I whisper sincerely and, for the first time in a long, long time, you allow yourself to cry. So I hold your sobbing body in my arms, lover, because I want to comfort you. I want to soothe your pain, I want to help you. I wish I could…
It's so odd that I haven't visited your grave for a whole week. I felt I should better stay at home, in our bed, eating your favorite ice cream, reading your favorite books, your diary. I still love every single thing about you, lover, because I can't not to. I can't stop thinking about you, even when I'm with her, but it doesn't upset me. I can tell the difference between you two, and I'll never replace you with her. She won't be you… never you, Kagome.
You are special. You are mine… only for me.
A few days ago Sango told me something that made me wonder. She told me, "Wherever she is, Kagome must be proud of you." There weren't any more words, but I know what she meant. You told her too, didn't you? You told her to take care of me, to make sure I won't mourn forever, didn't you?
Gradually, the days became months, became years, became duller. I won't lie. I'll never get over it, but I've learned to accept it. I accept your absence Kagome, only because you're still present inside my heart. No one will ever take your place, no one else will be entrusted with such a large piece of my soul.
Live on. Stay happy.
This year I decided to write you this letter instead. I know it'll get to you.
Remember your letter, Kagome? The one you wrote to me?
My hands are trembling, but I have to do this. How was I supposed to know? We haven't said our goodbyes yet. We haven't… I haven't told you how much I love you. They won't let me see you. Not for the moment, even though I'm your husband. They're still trying to bring you back.
Maybe it's better that I haven't told you. Maybe it would have hurt you. Is it so, Kagome? If I told you how much I loved you, would it be painful for you?
Please make it, Kagome.
I look at the paper folded in my hands, knowing that I must read it. Still, I wonder what this feeling is… am I afraid? Terrified, even? Kagome, if I read the letter, is it the end?
can you feel it? It's so close, I can almost touch it, taste it, though I want it as far away as possible. It's not how things are, lover, but no matter what happens, I'm always there.
If there is ever a time when I can't lie under the same sun with you, I'm sorry. For not being strong enough to stay with you, I'm sorry. For calling you all those names, well, I'm not that sorry.'
I laugh softly through the tears. Kagome…
'Those days you were forced to watch me suffer, I'm sorry for it, too. I know it must have been more painful for you than it was for me.'
You have no idea.
'But please enjoy your life, Inuyasha. I want you to do the things we were never able to do. For me, will you do them? Will you carry on my dreams and see that they are fulfilled?
Arigatou, ne? Thank you for listening to me when I ranted about all those silly subjects of mine. Thank you for loving me so completely without asking anything in return. Inuyasha, I'm grateful for all those times you held me close silently, knowing how frail my life was, knowing how little I had to live. For those words of encouragement, arigatou. For not saying out loud that you love me, arigatou. For being you and for loving me, arigatou, my love.
I won't say sayonara. We'll meet again, won't we? We'll see each other again and I won't let you go. I'll never let you go. I'll wait for you, anata, even if I have to watch flowers blossom a thousand of lifetimes.
I love you with all my heart.
I can't hear anything now. What the doctor is softly saying, the way my heartbeats blare inside my skull, I can't. My fingers tremble touching your name on the paper.
I know it's not relevant now, Kagome, but do you remember how we first met? I can't believe I'm smiling. The memory always seems to tug my lips until I can't help it. You still do that to me, do you see? You're this special.
I can't believe I accepted. Miroku, you idiot, you are going down! This is the last time I'm doing him any favors. If he wants to speak to Sango, then the next time he can come himself instead of sending me as his fucking messenger. I scan the area, but there's still no trace of Sango. Is she coming, anyway? I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't. After all, Miroku is still the pervert who's been grabbing her ass since, like, kindergarten, and she doesn't know he won't come himself. I guess when it comes to it, he's a little shy around her. The irony…
"Are you Miroku?"
My eyes snap to a girl, a beautiful, fucking gorgeous girl, who seems unable to wipe that warm smile off her face. I don't know where it came from, but I can feel butterflies in my stomach.
"I'm his friend, why?"
She pouts, the cute little thing. Her brows furrow then she wets her lips so innocently, with such confusion that I feel like kissing her cheek. This is stupid. I feel childish and not in control of my own reactions. What the Hell is wrong with me?
"Well, Sango was supposed to meet him here today, but she… uh... couldn't make it, so she sent me to tell him that and to deliver his message, because," and bla bla. The girl likes to rant. Naturally, I can't listen to everything she says, because I'm so much more interested in the way her lips move so rapidly and intrigued by my odd reaction to this simple girl.
What's this feeling?
"You don't have to lie," I scoff, crossing my arms against my chest and averting my eyes. "I know she sent you to deal with this in her place. Miroku did it, too."
I'm glad I didn't miss the appalled look on her face. So funny.
She starts walking from one place to another, making my head spin with every step she takes. I'm glad I'm sitting on the edge of the fountain, otherwise I'd have already fallen.
"Don't you feel a little used?" she asks through gritted teeth and I feel like chuckling. If she felt like this, then why did she accept to do it? I want to tell her that, but I don't.
"Nah. It's fine."
I wait for her to snap, but nothing happens. My eyes widen ridiculously, though, when suddenly she's sitting right beside me, her elbow on my shoulders as if we were pals, smiling sweetly at me. Those damn butterflies again…
"What's your name?" she asks rather seriously, which almost makes me squirm in discomfort. But I can't push her away.
"Seiji. Takahashi Seiji."
"Right," she says, looking ahead and nodding. She smiles for an instant then nods again. Weird girl…
"Say, Inuyasha," she trails off and my eyebrows jump beneath my bangs.
"How do you like sake?"
"Great, come," she says grabbing my hand before dragging me away after her, jumping happily from time to time.
"Seiji!" I yell.
"Yeah, whatever," she rolls her eyes, pissing me off once more. I can't seem to get rid of her. I don't know how, but one day she found my apartment and my phone number and she's been here ever since. She calls every day, comes by every day, invades my privacy every day. The bad thing, the wrong thing is that I don't mind. I always let her in, always thank her for the ramen she brings religiously. I always kiss her cheek when she pouts cutely because 'I'm an idiot who doesn't know what TV really is' – I can't be blamed if I don't like her soap operas.
When has it become like this? Has it always been like this? Somehow, it feels like it has…
"Sake, Inuyasha," she says.
"You've just had some." Stop calling me Inuyasha! I don't know why she does it, but she's never called me by my real name. But… why Inuyasha? Such a strange name… Sango has started calling me Inuyasha, as well. I suspect Miroku will call me that in no time, too.
"Please. Sake," she insists, pouting like a spoiled child. She seems to think for a moment, and I dread the second to come. In an instant, a brilliant, begging smile settles over her features, weakening my resolve.
"Inuyasha?" I hear her ask hesitantly.
"I'm not Inuyasha, dammit! Seiji! Sei-ji! That's my name! Can't you say it just once?"
"Inuyasha," she ignores me, "just this once. Please?" She battles her eyelashes, and I know I'm doomed.
I sigh, "No."
"Please," she smiles, "Please. Sake."
"Please," battling eyelashes subtly. "Sake," she whines, still smiling.
I roll my eyes... this woman is going to be the death of me. "I won't have you drunk again. What is your obsession with sake anyway?"
"I promise I won't get drunk, and it was just once anyway. You'll watch over me. I trust you to protect me – please?"
Somehow, her words warm my heart and I reluctantly agree. I know, it's not the first time. I like having her around.
It's always been odd with you, but not in a bad way. You have always been the most special, the most mysterious. I know why you wouldn't call me Seiji. You've never once called me Seiji. I know why you chose Inuyasha. It was your own way to lay your claim on me, wasn't it? It sounds silly now Kagome, but it was, wasn't it? An odd name that no one really uses, something only you get to call me…
I guess the thing with Miroku and Sango was unexpected, how they started calling me Inuyasha, but now they don't call me that anymore. I think it hurts them, too. I think they miss you too.
Kagome, now more than ever I feel I am Inuyasha. I want to be Inuyasha. For you, I'll always be Inuyasha.
I never take Kikyou to our special spots, I never cook her your favorite foods, I never share with her those things you asked me to do for you, to see for you. I live for you now, Kagome. I live for us.
The food doesn't taste as good now, but the autumn leaves are more beautiful, sweetheart. The sun is warmer and the stars are brighter. You've made me see that, Kagome. You gave light to everything when you left. Sleep doesn't soothe me as much, because I can't seem to find you even in my dreams, but even so, I feel you in the sound of the wind, I can breathe you in the air. You're still here. Kagome, you're still here.
I want to protect your memory. I want to protect you.