Old Long Ago
A/N: I do not own InuYasha.
It had been twenty years. Twenty years since they had all defeated Naraku. Twenty years that the well had stayed closed to both InuYasha and Kagome. Twenty years that they didn't see each other. Life seemed to go on.
But, for just a few minutes, InuYasha smelled the scent of Kagome's world. Of her. He ran as fast as he could toward the well, not daring to hope. He looked down and saw the sky. The sky of another world that he knew so little of, yet one that he still adored. Because of her.
Without a second thought, he leapt into the well. Even though it had been twenty years, everything was still the same. He was enveloped by a purple glow, and before he could say her name, he was in her world. It was all white. Snowy. The shrine was no worse for wear, but different. InuYasha recognized the green and red orb and decorations as Christmas ornaments that Kagome had once told him about. He hadn't been paying that much attention at the time, but from what he remembered, these beautiful, glowing ornaments were better than he had ever thought.
He didn't stay around Kagome's house for long. He had caught her scent.
He dashed across a town celebrating Christmas Eve, concentrating only on Kagome. Her scent became stronger as he neared a grocery store. He smiled, remembering the day that she and he had gone there, buying all sorts of ninja food. That day, they had also helped her younger brother, Sota, with his love life. He briefly wondered how he was doing.
InuYasha slowed down and started walking toward the door. He ripped a piece of cloth off of his sleeve, hiding his ears. He didn't want Kagome to worry about that when they finally saw each other again.
Walking past the automatic doors, he scanned every aisle, his nose in the air, ignoring all the delicious scents of food to try to track Kagome. It was in the last one by the back, the freezer section, that he finally found her. As if in a dream, he walked toward her. His hand reached for her shoulder, but she started to move, and instead he tugged her sleeve.
She turned around, surprised, that look of adrenaline in her face that InuYasha had seen several times during their travels in the feudal era. She looked at him, at first not quite recognizing him, but then things clicked.
"InuYasha!" she exclaimed, eyes opened wide. She started as if to hug him, but her purse caught on her shopping cart and everything spilled out. "Oh, geez," she sighed. She got down on the floor to pick it up. InuYasha was already there. Their eyes lingered on each other for a moment, InuYasha's on her brown, happy eyes, ignoring the wrinkles that didn't used to be there, Kagome's on InuYasha's still young face. When she had first seen him, he had looked fifteen. He still did, even after twenty years. Kagome saw his hand touch a bag of chips that she always carried around, for old time's sake, and she began to laugh. That brought InuYasha back to twenty years ago, and he joined in. Pretty soon, there were tears of joy in their eyes.
Everything picked up, Kagome put her purse back on her shoulder. She began pushing the cart, but InuYasha stepped up. "Allow me," he said, being uncharacteristically gentlemanly. Kagome blushed, but didn't object. She led him to the automatic checkout stand. InuYasha watched with amazement as Kagome scanned her items, each one making a beeping noise as she did.
"Things have been pretty updated since we last saw each other…twenty years ago," Kagome whispered the last part. It was then that InuYasha noticed the tinge of grey in her hair, the pants instead of miniskirt, the glasses.
"You haven't changed a bit," InuYasha lied. He stared at her eyes, then realized that he was speaking the truth.
"Look who's talking," Kagome giggled. She pointed the a bag of chips, the last thing in her cart. "Would you like to do the honors?" InuYasha nodded, but couldn't seem to get that beeping noise that Kagome had been so good at. She smiled, putting her hand in his as she easily twisted the bag around. "See? This little white box with the black stripes is the thing you have to scan." She twisted his hand again, and beep! He smiled. Both their hearts were fluttering as they exited the grocery store. Kagome led the way toward her car.
"You finally got one?" InuYasha asked. Kagome had been talking about her car more and more in those days before their final battle with Naraku. She nodded with a tired smile on her face. "Is it as great as you thought it would be?"
Kagome shook her head. "Better, at the beginning, but after nineteen years, you get too used to it. I'd ask you to drive, but…"
"Why don't we use the usual transportation?" InuYasha asked, bending his back. Kagome looked at him, then at her groceries, then back at him. She smiled, forgetting all about her milk and meat. "Sure," she said. InuYasha lifted her as easily as he had used to.
"Same spot?" he asked. She felt exactly the same. Nothing has changed, InuYasha thought to himself. Despite everything, she was still his Kagome. He felt her nod, and with a huge leap, he took off.
Faster than any car, InuYasha and Kagome arrived at their favorite spot on this side of the well. The roof of her old middle school. The place where he and she had shared countless conversations, arguments, moments.
"So," InuYasha said, time dragging by slowly.
"So," Kagome replied. She thought for a moment, then added, "how are Sango and Miroku?"
InuYasha smiled. "Oh, well. They have, like, fifteen grandkids now. And they all have an affection for pulling on my ears." InuYasha said this while taking off his makeshift bandana. Kagome giggled, not resisting the urge to tug on them herself. "They had five kids just a few years after you left. Miroku certainly got his wish, although only one of them turned out to be a boy."
"…And Kikyo?" Kagome asked uncertainly.
InuYasha shook his head, looking her straight in the eyes. "You know I never loved her as much as I love you, right?" Kagome's eyes showed a hint of doubt, but the truth was evident in his eyes. He continued on, "After the battle, she died. Apparently, when you left after the wish on the Shikon no Tama, you took the rest of her soul with you." InuYasha stared into space, thinking of the past. "How about you? Did Sota's relationship work out?"
Kagome smiled, her old, usual, Kagome smile. "It actually went perfectly. The two are married now. He's a pretty good architect. You wouldn't believe how good he is with numbers and designs. A few of them were inspired by you, by the way."
"And you?" InuYasha asked. Kagome closed her eyes.
"I'm married," she said softly. InuYasha winced as though he had been physically hit.
"And…and do you love him?" Of course she did. Why else would she have married.
That wasn't the answer he got.
"You know I've never liked to lie, InuYasha. I would love to say that I do, but…" her voice trailed off. InuYasha relaxed a bit.
"Was it that Hojo guy who was always after you?" he asked. He had seen his ancestor countless times. Apparently, he had married his own girl named Kagome, but his wife was nothing like the real Kagome.
Kagome bit her lip. "Maybe. But he's a really good people person. He's moving up in the customer service region of WcDonald's." Kagome sighed.
"You know, your eyes are still as brown as they used to be," InuYasha said, trying to brighten her spirits. Kagome smiled.
"And your ears are still as fun to play with as before. Oh!" Kagome rummaged through her purse, apparently searching for something important. She brought out the bag of chips that InuYasha had seen when her purse fell. "I've been saving this for just in case," she said. Lifting it up, as if to toast a happy occasion, she exclaimed, "To now!" With that, she handed the bag to InuYasha.
He raised the bag, just as she had done. "To long ago!" He opened the bag easily, and they both dug in. It was as if they had never eaten chips before.
Well, the hours passed by, and both talked about the past, their plans, anything really. But, eventually, they ran out of things to say. Kagome looked at the watch on her wrist. "Wow, it's pretty late. I'd better get home." She stood up. InuYasha offered her his back once more, and she more than happily got on. Together, they leapt off the building, landing lightly on the pavement. InuYasha bounded toward the grocery store, where Kagome's car was still parked. She got in, lowering the window so she could say one more thing.
"Bye InuYasha. It was wonderful to see you again."
InuYasha faked a smile. "Back at you," he said. And she pulled out of the driveway. As he watched her go, it began to rain, a soft downpour. Several drops fell down from InuYasha's eyes, down his cheeks, and-
"InuYasha, wake up! It's Christmas!" InuYasha had just enough time to wipe away the tears from his dream as Kagome entered, fifteen, happy, his. There they were, in Kaede's hut, celebrating their first Christmas together. It was still dark outside, early in the morning. Kagome seemed to be seeping she could say another word, he embraced as he had never done before. "Whoah! We should celebrate Christmas more often, shouldn't we?"
"I love you. I love more than anyone in the world, you know that, right?" InuYasha looked into her eyes.
"Of course I do," she giggled, kissing him lightly on the nose. "Here's your present!" She held out a perfectly wrapped box. InuYasha took it, slowly unwrapping it as he thought, I'll never let you forget it, too.
Merry Christmas everyone!
This story was partially inspired by a song by Dan Fogelberg called Same Old Lang Syne.