Disclaimer: I make no money from this story and own none of the characters. Nor do I own the fandom. I only own my little plot line.
A/N: As most of my readers are aware, I lost my beloved grandfather in Nov 2010 to lung cancer. That event in my life has inspired the idea for this story.
Keep smiling grandpa, for you will be loved, cherished, and remembered always.
Kagome gasped and her hand flew to her chest. She stared unable to believe what she had just seen. Her lashes blinked rapidly for a full minute, before she stared at her shaking hands and stepped back a few paces as the world around her spun. 'No, this can't be happening.' Her mind cried out.
She hunched over and pressed her hands to her stomach before falling onto her knees beside the shattered well. 'Why? Why would he do this?' Her fists struck the dirt over and over. Her stomach clenched as she sobbed. 'I can't go back now.' Played like a mantra in her head.
Nausea built in her stomach and bile rose to her throat. Her chest tightened and her heart literally felt like it was being squeezed in a vice. Her eyes filled with moisture as her mind replayed the well being shattered over and over while she tried in vain to reach it.
Inuyasha rolled his eyes at her dramatic reaction. "Would you just accept it already and get over it." He shrank his Tetsuiga to normal and replaced it in it's sheathe. He shook his head. "Really Kagome, I did this for you most of all." He smirked. "Now you can focus on finding the jewel shards and not get distracted."
He watched her continue to cry and scoffed. "You act like someone just died."
Those words twisted the knife of betrayal deeper into her heart. A wave of pure anger slammed through Kagome. Her head snapped up and she sent him a murderous look.
"How dare you?" her tone was icy and venomous. Her slender hands clenched into tight fists as she shoved to her feet. She ran over and punched him in the jaw. "You bastard!"
Inuyasha's head snapped back from the force of her strike. He stepped back and rubbed his chin with wide eyes. He winced at the slight pain in his jaw and his lashes blinked rapidly. 'She actually hit me?'
Shippo cowered behind a tree with angry tears in his eyes. "Inuyasha you baka. How could you do that to Kagome?" Angry tears poured from his eyes. "You just wait until Sango and Miroku get back. She's going to – " He gulped and moved behind the tree for protection from the hanyou's intense glare.
Inuyasha growled and glared at the cowering kit. "Shut it runt!"
Kagome fumed, "You jerk!" and went to punch Inuyasha again.
He blocked her punch, but doubled over as her knee connected full force with his groin.
"Oof." He coughed a few times trying to will the pain away. He pinned her with a furious glare. "Damnit wench, what the hell was that for?"
Kagome pulled her foot back and kicked him in the face. "I hate you, Inuyasha."
She took one last longing look at the splintered well and ran off deeper into the woods as Inuyasha lay unconscious on the ground.
When he finally realized everything was quiet, Shippo peaked around the tree. "Serves the jerk right," he snorted and ran back to Kaede's in tears, furious with Inuyasha for being so cruel to his mother-like figure, which had already left his sight.
Kagome tore through the woods heedless of any plausible dangers. "Baka Inuyasha, How could you?" She continued pumping her legs and her arms as fast as they would go, mindless of the brambles tearing at her clothes and skin. Tears blurred her vision but she didn't care. She just needed to get as far away from him as possible.
'Now I'll never get to say goodbye.' The squeezing pressure around her heart increased and she pushed herself to run faster. 'Damn Kikyo for removing those beads of subjugation.' She thought bitterly. 'If she hadn't taken them off, I could have sat him and the well would still be intact.'
Her anger increased tenfold and her hatred of Kikyo grew. 'Baka Kikyo, why can't you just die and stay dead? I wish you had never come back.' Her feet halted and her eyes flew open. She gasped. 'When did I become such a horrible person?' She stared at her hands and her body trembled.
She fell to her knees and the tears flowed down her cheeks. 'Grandfather, I'm so sorry. I wanted to be there for your final days, but now… I can't.' She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her face on her knees.
Ever since that horrible day that she had been informed her grandfather had lung cancer, she had thrown herself into the past trying desperately to look for the jewel shards and end her quest here. Unfortunately she would often find herself spacing off out of the blue and ready to bawl like a baby. She just wanted to finish her duties here and be free to be with her family.
She'd tried in vain to forget the nightmare waiting at home.
An image of her strong jovial grandfather, now pale and weak, hooked up to tubes and machines filled her mind.
She dug her palms into her closed eyes trying to force the image from her mind. 'Why? Why did this have to happen? It's not fair!'
Unable to hold the overwhelming sadness back anymore, she let it all go and just screamed several times into the black night.
He remembered everything, including Renkotsu's betrayal. What bothered him most though was dying during his fight with Inuyasha.
'I should have been able to defeat that wretched half breed easily,' His free hand tightened into a white knuckled fist. 'I, the infamous leader of the Shichinintai should have never been defeated so easily, least of all by a fucking half breed.'
He continued pondering his failure to avenge his fallen comrades' deaths and vowed fiercely. "I won't fail again. Inuyasha, you will pay dearly, for my brothers' deaths and my own."
Deep inside Bankotsu wanted only one thing…
He was eager to feel his blood on Inuyasha's blood on his skin As Banryu sliced the wretched hanyou in half. He wanted to hear the screams of his enemy's pain as he defeated the whelp ruthlessly. Inuyasha, and one more bastard… That treacherous demon that had gotten him and all of his brothers killed yet again.
'Naraku, I will destroy you as well.' He decided firmly. 'No one makes fools of the Shichinintai and lives, no one!'
A feral growl ripped from his lips as he imagined his two enemies' faces side by side.
As if fate itself wanted to rip him from his thoughts an agonized scream ripped through the air, interrupting his hateful daydreams.
He blinked and then chuckled. His eyes twinkled with mischief. "Sounds like someone sure is having fun tonight," He stared at his faithful companion and smirked. "Eh Banryu?"
His lips formed a scowl as the weapon remained silent.
'Fine, be that way,' he though petulantly.
He sighed heavily as the familiar and ever annoying loneliness filled his soul. He swallowed against the tightness in his throat and glared at the sky. 'Damn Ja, I sure wish you and the guys were still here.' A dull pain throbbed in his chest and his eyes lowered to the ground.
After a minute of wallowing in self pity, he snorted derisively and muttered in disgust. "Look at me. I'm acting like such a fucking sap."
He dragged his free hand down his face and huffed. "Once you're dead, you're dead. That's the end of it," his voice rang with finality as the hand fell from his face, only to fist by his side.
He sighed heavily and rubbed the back of his neck. 'I wonder who brought me back and why?'
Another anguish filled scream ripped through the air, echoing the emptiness in his heart.
He frowned, other than Jakotsu and his brothers, his heart hadn't been stirred in... well ages.
His scowl deepened. 'So why now of all times?'
He titled his head back and two fingers rubbed the bridge of his nose, to ward off an oncoming headache from too much thinking.
Another miserable wail tore him from his thoughts.
Deciding to investigate, he began walking off toward the direction the noise was coming from.
Forcing his way through the underbrush for what seemed an eternity, he finally came in sight of the source of those awful noises.
His eyes widened and he froze behind the tree. 'Isn't that Inuyasha's wench?'
Her screaming stopped and he mentally thanked her for saving his ears. His brows furrowed. 'What is she doing here?'
Each of her sobs made a pain sharpen inside his chest. 'Normally hearing my enemy crying in pain would make me feel on top of the world… so why are her cries making me feel worse than before?'
He cringed as she let loose another mournful cry. He squeezed his eyes shut and slammed the back of his head against the tree a few times. His free hand tightened into a fist. 'Come on man, get a grip. Just leave her ass. She's the fucking enemy.'
As if his feet were planted to the spot, his body refused to budge and he was forced to listen to her pathetic sobs.
An hour later, as she reached the end of her tears, Kagome vowed fiercely, "I hate you, Inuyasha. I will never forgive you, or Kikyo."
Feeling her grief take over, her shoulders slumped and she fell over onto her side sobbing to herself. Each time her heart and stomach clenched, she gripped her knees fiercely.
Bankotsu blinked at the sheer venom he'd heard in her voice. 'Eh?'
He stealthily peeked around the tree and huffed. 'So little miss purity now hates her dog?' He rubbed his chin and blinked a few times.
Taking in her posture of the fetal position and listening to her angry words, he sighed. 'If I didn't know better, I'd think the little miko was grieving over a loved one.'
He listened until her venomous words ceased and the sobs increased. "Grandpa forgive me, I'm sorry I couldn't make it back in time."
He watched her shoulders shake and smelt the salty tears. He took a deep breath and swore in his mind. 'Damnit! Why me?'
After many tense moments of mentally arguing with himself, trying to talk himself out of the foolishness, he took a step away from the tree and stared at her curiously. "Hey girl, are you… okay?"
Kagome gasped and froze. 'That voice… But he's supposed to be dead.' She shoved herself into a sitting position and stared at him in horror. "B... B... Bankotsu…" She whispered and immediately back peddled away from him with wide eyes.
He snorted and rolled his eyes. "You know, if I wanted to kill you, I had plenty of chances while you laid there bawling your eyes out."
She stopped and her heart hammered inside her chest.
He stared into her sad brown eyes and took a few steps toward her. "Look, I'm not here to fight."
She tilted her head to the side and asked quietly, "Then, why are you here?"
He snorted. "You cried so loud that you even managed to scare off many demons. They ran past me with horrified faces." He smirked.
She snorted and muttered. "Go away." She hugged her knees and sank into the sadness again.
He stabbed Banryu into the ground and casually leaned back against it with his hands laced behind his head.
"So, are you going to tell me what all they crying is about or what?"
She snorted and scooted back against the tree. "Why do you even care?"
He shrugged. "Well you did scare off my prey. I think that entitles me to an explanation of why." His brow rose at her silence.
After a minute she sighed. "It's not like you actually care, so just go away." She hugged her knees and teared up again.
He muttered, "Women are so emotional." Seeing that she was ignoring him, he huffed and walked over yanking her to her feet. "Oi, I'm talking to you. Don't you dare ignore me." His jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed.
Kagome gasped and stared at him wide eyed.
He grunted. "Okay girl, out with it, now!" His eyes locked with hers in a silent battle of wills.
After a few minutes she sighed and whispered, "My grandfather is dying." She averted her eyes from him suddenly finding the dirt very interesting.
He huffed. "Is that all?"
She shoved him away and hugged her waist with trembling arms as the tears started again. It quickly became hard to breathe and she fell to her knees gasping.
He rolled his eyes and knelt beside her placing a hand on her back, rubbing gently. "Take slow, deep breaths."
She did as he instructed and soon found herself able to breathe almost normal. 'How did he know?' She stared up at him and sat with her knees drawn to her chest.
She blinked as he sat beside her and laid one arm on his bent knee, using the other to lean back by Banryu. "How did you know?"
A melancholy smile briefly graced his masculine lips. "Seeing you, kind of reminds me of the first time I lost someone." The smile vanished and his lips pressed into a thin line. 'When did I become so talkative, let alone to my enemy?' He snorted.
Kagome blinked. "How old were you?"
He sighed heavily. "Seven," he sat up Indian style and stared at his weapon.
She blinked and felt her heartstrings tugged as she imagined a seven years old going through what she was facing now.
She whispered, "May I ask who it was that you lost?"
He smirked amused by her actions as she fidgeted with the hem of her skirt. "My mother." He stared at the ground, plucking blades of grass to wring between his fingers.
She gasped. 'How horrible,' her mind mourned.
Silence stretched between the two as they both reflected what had been said.
His jaw clenched. 'She better not try to pity me. I'll sever her damned head here and now.'
She asked, "Does it ever…."
He blinked and looked at her. "Ever what?"
She took a deep breath. "Does it ever get any easier?" Her eyes pleaded with him.
He rubbed his chin. "If you mean does the pain ever fully leave, then iie."
She lowered her eyes to the ground and mumbled, "I see."
He continued, "If you're asking if the pain lessens, then yes, over time it will eventually grow to simply a dull ache."
He shrugged. "After you face as much death as I do, you learn to deal with it quickly."
His eyes briefly filled with something she instantly recognized – pain.
She thought about how he and the cross dresser seemed close. "You miss him, don't you?"
He blinked, "Eh?"
She sighed. "Jakotsu. You miss him, ne?"
He huffed. "Hai, so what?"
She confided, "I miss my granpa too. He was the only father figure my brother and I had." Tears welled in her eyes and a sob ripped from her throat.
He blinked. "What about your father?"
She sighed. "He died shortly after my brother was born. I don't even remember him. Neither does Souta."
Bankotsu frowned. "So, this is your first time losing someone you were close to?"
She nodded and hugged her knees.
He stared at her a few moments as silence hung heavy in the air. 'I thought so.' He looked at the stars as an image of his mother filled his mind. 'I haven't thought of her since I was a kid…' A dull ache centered around his heart and he released a long sigh.
Kagome sat beside him in silence lost in her own memories. She teared up and sobbed burying her head on her knees.
Bankotsu blinked and stared at her. Seeing her tears flow, he swallowed against the thickness in his throat and placed an arm around her, pulling her into his chest.
He spoke softly while rubbing her back. "Go ahead, just let it out."
As if a damn broke Kagome's tears burst forth as she buried her head against his chest. Her arms covered her chest as if to hold off the pain, but his words were her undoing.
He stared down at the sobbing girl in his arms and blinked. 'Somehow right now, I don't feel so alone. Why is that?' He continued rubbing her back and eventually wrapped his arms around her, unable to stop himself. 'What is it about this girl that can affect me like this?'
Eventually her sobs ceased and her breathing evened out. He blinked and stared at her sleeping and laid back to stare at the stars. In her sleep she snuggled to him and slept peacefully for the first time since the horrible news had been told.
He softly chuckled at his unusual talkativeness and stared at the stars. 'Who would have thought I would be the one to console my enemy?'
Bankotsu frowned and wondered what Inuyasha could have possibly done to make her hate him so much. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to know.
Unfortunately he'd have to wait for her to wake in order to find out.
He briefly considered waking her, then sighed and shook his head. 'Iie, she's been through enough already. I'll let her sleep a few hours first.' Remembering the dark circles under her eyes, he guessed that she hadn't slept well in a while now. 'She looks like she needs the rest anyways.'
Resigned to the situation for now, he focused his attention on the stars.
A/N: Okay, that's the first chapter. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it so far. XD