Inuyasha, and the characters therein, are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. I am in no way affiliated with Takahashi, or VIZ Productions.
Winner! 1st Place Tie for Best One-shot, Feudal Association, 2nd Quarter 2011
~ The Diary ~
She was late, again. She had said that she'd be back right after school, but it was now well into the afternoon and she still wasn't back yet. Inuyasha didn't know what was worse, the ache in he felt in his own heart at her continued absence, or the persistent whining from a certain kitsune begging that he go and get her. Finally making up his mind, Inuyasha decided to go and fetch Kagome. Not because anyone else had told him to do it, but because she was late, damn it.
Upon entering her bedroom via the unlocked window, Inuyasha quickly discovered that she wasn't at home.
Where could she be? he wondered.
Turning to head back out the way he came, the hilt of his sword accidentally knocked one of her books off her desk and onto the floor. Glancing down at said item, the hanyou was fully prepared to simply pick it up and place it back upon her desk, until he found himself staring blank faced at the open page before him. On it was written something he hadn't seen put down on paper in nearly two hundred years…his own name.
Gently bending down and picking up the book, careful not to lose the page, Inuyasha brought it back up to his face, and without even thinking about what he was doing, he began to read what was written.
~ o ~
I can't believe it; Inuyasha has chosen Kikyou. I saw it in his eyes, though he couldn't say the words, though I knew he would if I didn't run away. Of course I ran, I ran from the pain, ran from my broken heart. I was such a fool to think that his jealousy over Kouga could have possibly meant that he cared for me himself. I guess he was just being protective over his shard detector. I know that's all I am to him now. That's all I'll ever be. There's no room for me in his heart, because he still loves Kikyou. But even still, I can't stay away, because I love him so much, so I went back. It's funny, really. I don't hate Kikyou, not at all. But I am jealous of her, because she has one thing that I never will, Inuyasha's love.
~ o ~
Inuyasha had to stop reading there, a pang in his heart causing him to clutch at his chest. Was that how Kagome really felt? Well, apparently so.
Even though that had been several months ago, he remembered it well. He remembered the utter joy he'd felt when Kagome had asked if she could stay by his side, if he would have her. What kind of stupid question was that, anyway? Would he let her stay with him? He had been so relieved it was unreal. He didn't want to lose Kagome, but felt that he simply could not abandon his duty to Kikyou. He remembered how Kagome had said that she'd felt a connection with Kikyou, in that she shared her desire to be with him. But he hadn't thought, at the time, that she had meant love. Was that what she'd truly meant?
Flipping through some more of the book, Inuyasha noted how the pages continued to log her experiences from day to day in his time. Most of the entries seemed to be mundane; she mentioned Shippou a lot, as well as their other friends, and her fears over defeating Naraku. But when she again began to spill her heart, he stopped to read the passage in more detail.
~ o ~
I had the dream again. We're battling Kaguya, and Inuyasha is nearly lost to his demon self forever, but then, I kiss him. That's when I always wake up. My dream never lets me relive the moment when he actually kissed me back, but I know he did! He kissed me back! In the back of my mind, I know he was probably thinking of Kikyou, but still, to feel his lips on mine…I'll cherish that memory forever. There's often been times when I've tried to find a way to bring that battle into conversation. We've bumped into Akitoki on a few occasions, and I've tried to make use of it, but it was no avail. He refuses to go there, and I don't know why. I've often wondered if he even remembers, my confession of love, the kiss, anything… since he was transformed at the time.
~ o ~
Reaching the last line on the page, Inuyasha again had to pause before he even dared to think about turning it to the next. He did remember that night, vividly, and for many reasons. It scared him how easily he had lost himself to the darkness within the mirror castle. If Kagome hadn't brought him back when she had, he would have become a mindless beast for all eternity.
As the hanyou continued to flip through the pages of her diary, he found that more and more of the words contained within were in regard to her feelings for him, and not so much a chronological tale of her adventures in the past. Inuyasha learned that her school friends were apparently aware of his existence, at least to some degree. She wrote how she hadn't told them, for obvious reasons, that he was actually a half-demon from the Feudal era, but that they did know he existed, and that they thought he was her 'two-timing, possessive, jealous boyfriend' as Kagome had put it.
Hadn't he met those girls? Come to think of it, he had. Inuyasha remembered being startled by three girls around Kagome's age when he'd entered her bedroom one afternoon after helping her grandfather out in the shed. They hadn't seemed concerned with his outfit, or that he'd just entered her room through the window, and had simply started bombarding him with pointless questions, like where they'd met, and how long they had known each other. Come to think of it, hadn't one of the girls actually asked him how long he'd been 'going out' with Kagome? He hadn't thought much about it at the time, but now looking back on it, he'd learned enough expressions from Kagome's time to know what the girl had actually been asking him.
Damn… he thought. How could I have been so blind all this time?
Flipping through a few more pages that didn't seem to say anything important, Inuyasha was about to put the book down when the symbols for 'Naraku' as well as 'Love' both on the same page immediately caught his eye.
~ o ~
I've got to be more careful. With Kikyou gone, I'm the only one left who can sense the jewel shards, and Naraku almost captured me for that very reason. But Inuyasha came. Inuyasha came, and he saved me. I knew he would. The baby tried to tell me that he wouldn't come, tried to make me hate Kikyou, feel bitterness towards Inuyasha, after he found the darkness in my heart. Of course there's darkness in my heart, unrequited love tends to do that to a person. Naraku thought he could use my love for Inuyasha as a weakness, but I think it's a strength. It's what keeps me by his side, no matter what.
~ o ~
Inuyasha hadn't intended to stop reading there, except the next symbol was slightly distorted from where a teardrop had struck the page while the ink had still been wet. Kagome had been crying as she'd written it. He found himself fighting back a single tear, himself, as he recalled the day he'd almost lost Kagome because Naraku had tricked him, yet again. He'd been off looking for Kikyou when by all rights he should have accepted that she was dead, and in his foolishness, he had nearly allowed Naraku to possess Kagome's heart. Then later, when it'd turned out that Kikyou actually was still alive, although dying, what had Kagome done? Kagome had gone and saved her! Would Kikyou have done the same?
Probably not…he realized guiltily.
Early on after her resurrection, Kikyou had even tried to kill Kagome, and she had stolen the large chunk of jewel they'd possessed, giving it to Naraku. Even though the hate the undead miko harbored for himself had apparently lessened over time, with Kikyou finally realizing that it had in fact been Naraku who had killed her, Inuyasha knew that Kikyou was still bitter over her unjust death. She was still cold, and uncaring, and wholly not the Kikyou he remembered, and she still desired to take him into Hell with her. But...why should he die for her life when he wasn't the one who'd killed her? His friends always kept trying to get him to think about that one. Miroku, and even Sango, would constantly remind him of how much Kagome cared for him, and how much Kikyou did not. After all, Kikyou had been unwilling to be with him, even back in the beginning, unless he'd used the jewel to become a human. Kagome, on the other hand, had told him over and over again that she liked him as a half-demon.
Actually, she said she 'loves' me as a half-demon…the hanyou mentally corrected, remembering her words vividly.
He had heard her, when he'd been imprisoned by Kaguya's spell, and he did remember the kiss. He'd thought that Kagome knew how he felt about her, but apparently he was wrong. He'd told her that he needed her, once, but she must have taken his words to mean that he needed her ability to sense the jewel shards. Well, what else was she supposed to think when he always bitched about her going home because they needed to look for the shards?
Why can't I just tell her that I hate it when she leaves because I hate being away from her?
He knew why, because that would be showing weakness, and he'd learned at a very tender age to never show any signs of weakness whatsoever. He'd also learned at a tender age that the women he loved…die. Maybe if he didn't love Kagome, then she would be safe. Was that his logic? She wasn't very safe while traveling with him, though, fighting off random youkai and hunting Naraku. He loved her whether she knew it or not, so then he might as well tell her how he felt, right? If simply having the feelings were what put the women he cared about in danger, then not telling Kagome wouldn't keep her safe, and it would only add heartache on top of the risks she faced while staying in his world. It was always a possibility that she could get hurt in battle, so why hurt her heart on top of it?
It was around the time he was having that revelation that some noises coming from downstairs told him that Kagome was finally home. Quickly sitting the book back down upon her desk, Inuyasha darted out the open window. He didn't go far, though, resting on the roof just outside her room. He heard Kagome enter her room, and the shuffling noises that indicated she was packing up her bag. He heard Souta ask something but he was too far away to make out the boy's words, although Kagome's reply was "Not right now, I'm already late! Inuyasha is going to kill me!"
So, she hadn't been blowing him off, but for whatever reason she was late, she was also aware that she was late, and it bothered her. He felt a small smile creep up the edges of his lips. Even though everything he'd read had happened a while back, Inuyasha was fairly sure that her feelings for him hadn't changed since then.
Not wishing to scare her too much, he crouched down within the frame of her bedroom window, gently tapping the wall with a claw to get her attention. Kagome was startled, but not too badly, having half expected that he'd come for her because of her tardiness.
The miko flinched only for a second, before quickly stating, "I'll be ready in just a few minutes."
"Kagome…" he started gently, entering her room. He didn't get to finish as the miko started rambling in an attempt to save herself from his would-be lecture.
"I know I'm late, Inuyasha." she began, "But I haven't seen my friends in weeks, and they dragged me out to eat with them after school. It'd been a long time so I wanted to catch up, and…"
He raised a hand to silence her, but she could see in his eyes that he wasn't angry.
"It's okay." he murmured quietly.
"It is?" she asked in surprise, tilting her head to the side ever so slightly, like the way a dog would do. Had she picked up that trait from him? It made him chuckle a bit.
"I just…I just worry about you." he managed to choke out through reddening cheeks.
She paused, flustered. Why was he being so sweet? He should be yelling at her, telling her to hurry up and that they're wasting valuable Naraku-hunting time. "I'm fine…." she finally managed to finish. "I wasn't alone, I was with my friends."
Inuyasha nodded his approval, to her astonishment, and then asked something she never would've thought he'd ask. Just trying to be polite and understanding, the hanyou quietly asked her, "How are they doing?"
Had he just asked her about her friends? Why would he care?
Kagome answered cautiously, part of her mind almost starting to wonder if this was really Inuyasha, or if he was actually someone else in disguise.
"They're…fine. Thanks for asking." she finished with a hesitant smile.
He 'Keh'd in reply.
Phew…she thought in relief, He's Inuyasha, after all.
Since Kagome had still been packing her backpack throughout their somewhat awkward conversation, she had since finished, and flinging it up and onto her shoulder, she proclaimed that she was ready and that they could leave. He 'Keh'd again, before silently following her out the door. They paused momentarily so that Kagome's mother and Inuyasha could say hi to one another, as Kagome stocked up the last revision she needed before returning to the past. Something that was kept in the kitchen rather than in her bedroom; something she brought entirely for Inuyasha's benefit, which she could do without otherwise. He smiled as he saw her pack up the last container of ramen, said his short farewell to Souta and their mother, and taking the heavy bag from her and slinging it up and over his own shoulder, he followed Kagome to the well.
Once they emerged on his side of time, Inuyasha handed the backpack back to Kagome, before instructing the miko to climb onto his back, as he leapt them both up and out of the well. Getting back on her feet, Kagome was ready to head back to the village, but could tell that something was nagging at Inuyasha, so she hesitated. Dropping her bag back down, she looked at him curiously. His eyes caught hers for only a moment before he shifted his gaze to look away, but regardless of losing her eye contact with him, Kagome couldn't miss the darkening shade of red that was suddenly adorning his cheeks.
What on Earth is he thinking about?
He raised his eyes to meet her gaze again, and his blush grew even darker.
This isn't going to be easy… he thought. Better get it over with.
"Kagome…." he started, figuring that first, he'd better come clean about the diary, even if she 'sat' him for it. "I did something you're probably not gonna like." he confessed, quickly adding, "But it was a good thing, so please just hear me out, all right?"
That statement had Kagome thoroughly confused, and more than a little concerned, so she silently nodded her agreement, waiting for him to continue.
"I…I read one of your books…" he mumbled then, adding "…sorry" so softly that Kagome almost didn't catch it with her human hearing.
Why was that such a bad thing? She didn't care if he read one of her stupid schoolbooks, although she'd be a bit surprised if he could actually follow any it.
"Inuyasha…" she began happily, "Why is that so-" She was cut off.
"Kagome…" he stated regretfully, mentally bracing his body for impact with the ground. "It was the one called Diary."
Inuyasha watched in panic as Kagome's facial expression morphed from confusion and light heartedness, to shock, embarrassment, hurt, betrayal, and finally anger. He waited for it to come, and waited, and waited. Opening his eyes again when the impact never came, he saw that her face had shifted again, along with her scent. No longer was she angry, but…humiliated?
Kagome… he sighed to himself.
He wanted to let her know that he knew, first...that he knew how she felt about him. So he could then tell her that he felt the same way. But maybe that hadn't been the best course of action, after all, because now she was crying.
"Kagome..." he murmured, unsure of what to say now.
The miko flinched and turned away at the sound of his voice, but she didn't run.
"You said to hear you out…" he heard her mutter dejectedly, "So finish already."
Here it comes, she thought.
He didn't want to have anything to do with her any more. Not if she was going to be some foolhardy love-struck teenager. He was going to tell her that he didn't feel the same way, and that she needed to get over him.
Kagome had her eyes pinched shut, so she didn't notice when he moved from his previous position to stand directly in front of her, but she did notice when she felt his arms snake around her body, as he pulled her into a tight embrace.
Opening her eyes for just a second, what she saw was Inuyasha, with his own eyes closed, coming in for a kiss. Kagome barely had time to register what was happening before she felt his lips brush gently against her own, and closing her eyes once more, she didn't hesitate to wrap her arms up and around his neck, returning his kiss for all she was worth.
What had started as something short and sweet quickly escalated beyond that first inclination as she felt Inuyasha's tongue press against her lips, silently asking for entrance. When she granted his request, she felt his tongue begin to explore her fully, as it battled with hers for dominance. Not wanting to submit completely, Kagome fought back with her own tongue, as she delved inside Inuyasha's mouth as well. It was a good two minutes before they parted for some much needed oxygen.
Inuyasha's heart had soared when he felt Kagome kiss him back, and when the spike in her scent enticed him to strengthen the kiss, and she still complied, he'd almost lost control of himself right then and there. He was grateful when they finally separated, attempting to will the blood in his body to return to his brain.
Kagome stared at Inuyasha blank-faced for a moment, her cheeks no doubt as flushed as his were, as they both stood there, mere inches apart, still linked in each others arms, panting for breath. Finally, Kagome pulled back slightly, but only so that she could look Inuyasha more clearly in the eyes, as his golden orbs scanned hers in return, each trying to read the other's soul through their gazes. Finally, she spoke first.
"What was that for?" she asked almost playfully.
"Keh." he muttered, desperately trying to make his emotions known to the girl he loved more than life itself. "Figured you needed to know how I felt." was all he was able to muster.
But Kagome understood. After all, he'd just confessed to reading her diary, which she knew perfectly well was filled with several pages of her pouring her heart out about how much she loved him. So for him to read that, and then to turn around and kiss her as he just had…it was obvious. He loved her too.
Pulling him tightly against her again, Kagome rested her head against his chest, as he wrapped his arms more tightly around her in return, relishing the embrace.
"Inuyasha…" he heard her sigh, her voice radiating with contentment, "I love you so much." she murmured happily.
He 'Keh'd, which made her chuckle, and then he began to produce a low rumbling noise from deep within his chest, which Kagome couldn't help but find incredibly soothing. He still wasn't able to say the L word, at least not yet, but he did say something else that he knew Kagome would understand meant exactly the same thing.
"I choose you, Kagome."
~ Fin ~