Summary: Some will tell you that twenty years isn't a long enough life. I don't. I was grateful for every second. Kagome's POV.

.°.No Point for Tears.°.
.•.Reluctance.•.

ЖЖЖЖЖЖЖ

I don't really like tears. I appreciate them and I even understand them but… more often than naught I think that they aren't for me even though they're shed in my presence. Tears arise for you, not for others. Your eyes sting because of how you feel—even if that sadness is only sparked because of another. Everyone knew it but didn't dare to tell me—I have it easiest. Granted, dying isn't fun and my sickness has taken so much from me. It hurts a lot, sometimes it's even hard to breath, but I do have it better than them.

I'm the one who gets to die. They're the ones that have to suffer through life. I don't want them to. I hope they let me go.

I want them to be happy.

My parents try not to cry around me, they got that out of the way when I was fifteen. That's when I was diagnosed, when I was told exactly how long I had to live.

Do you know how odd that is? To know how long you have left in this world before departing to the next? At first I was shocked; I thought that it couldn't be true. Certainly, I had at least another fifty years left. My plans were always changing for my future, where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to major in, how my life would work out… but I had plans. That's why it couldn't be true.

Then… when it started to become apparent that I was sick I gave in. It hurt, everywhere but mostly to breath—that's why sobs sucked, all the same, that was when most of the crying started. I balled my eyes out all the time. It wasn't fair—I was fifteen, I shouldn't have had to deal like that. My mother was always by my side… and she, too, cried constantly. Silently, when she thought I was asleep. I even caught my dad sniffling back the tears.

My little brother, though… that was the worst. Souta didn't understand what was going on or why all the attention turned to me suddenly. Until… he realized what it meant. That I'd be dead before he graduated high school. I could take everyone crying but him… it was the worst. He tried not to, because he was a boy and boys weren't supposed to cry—that's what he always told me.

I hated it.

I was his big sister, I was supposed to protect him from pain and there I was the cause of his worse grief.

I started to go to churches, mosques, shrines, temples, and mystics, whatever to try and find a way out since medicine wouldn't do me much good. I'd talk to God, the gods, the spirits, whatever—just give me more time and I swear I'll be a better person. I had to be a bad person, right, that's why I'd only get twenty years to live?

Depression seeped in during my sixteenth year of life. I hated high school, it was terrible to go. My friends were the worst about pity, and the looks my teachers would give me after my multiple days of absence—when my sickness was too bad to go to school. I didn't really get the point of going, it's not like it mattered if I went to college or anything but I went to make my parents happy.

I had to pretend like I still loved life.

Then I met him and everything changed. The four years I had with the reckless boy was enough.

I had a good life. I just… should have told him the truth from the start. For the pain I caused him, I'm sorry—really, really sorry.

ЖЖЖЖЖ

He was handsome, really handsome. At least that's what I thought the first time I saw him on his motorcycle—what girl didn't want to date someone at one point or another that rode one of them? He was a friend of a friend, if I could even put it like that back then. I had just met Kobayashi Sango in my second semester in my eleventh year of school. At first it was sad looking back and seeing how much of my life was consumed by something so pointless to me in the end—school.

Anyway, Sango's boyfriend Tsukino Miroku was best friends with him. One day, two weeks into class, I walked out of school with her and saw the two hanging out by the gates. I remember Sango rolling her eyes then telling me what an awful influence Tanaka Inuyasha was on her boyfriend but even back then I knew that a part of her liked the inu-hanyou anyway.

He was nineteen, graduated the year before but didn't go to college. He was just a mechanic in some shop.

"His life isn't going anywhere, ever," Sango had sighed. It wasn't that she was scolding him, she seemed sad about it like she wanted him to become something it was just… he hadn't any motivation.

I guess it was then that I felt a connection with him, because unbeknownst to my new friend, my life wasn't going anywhere either—ever. I had less than four years until the Reaper would come for me. Finding out at the start of the school year that you'd be dead before getting your college degree did blow.

He was gone before I could introduce myself, then Sango's charming boyfriend came up to introduce himself to me. He was a grade above us, and I was instantly jealous. He, too, was handsome. The moment their lips met in an innocent kiss I wanted to walk away. In my sixteen years, I never fell in love. I wanted to so badly… the next day I was eager to leave with Sango in hopes that her boyfriend would be there with his friend.

"Hi," I eagerly greeted the silver haired boy; he just gave me an odd look like 'who the fuck are you? And what makes you think I give a damn?'

I was cute. I had boys asking me out, one in particular—Akitoki Houjo. So, if I ever showed interest in a guy I was use to them reciprocating. But with him… he didn't give a damn. It wasn't until Miroku elbowed him in the side that he muttered an unenthusiastic "hello" back to me.

It took two weeks of that—him, of course, not being there all the time—for our relationship to progress farther than a 'hello' and 'how are you'?

Finally I caught him checking my legs out, which I had always been told were my best features. They weren't ruined by the illness. I knew my good looks wouldn't last for much longer, eventually I'd look sick always so I decided to use them to my advantage—I decided to try and live.

I wanted romance, and I wanted a dangerous seemingly pointless one with a badass boy like him.

When he looked up from his scan he realized right away I had caught him and glanced away but not before seeming me smile—he knew what that meant, it's on.

The next day he made up a lame excuse to get rid of Miroku and Sango so he could ask me, "you hungry?"

No, I wasn't. I rarely was anymore, but I put on a smile and lied—like I seemed to always do—to say, "sure."

I could tell Sango wasn't necessarily surprised when I told her I was leaving with him but she obviously didn't approve either. Regardless, I giddily got on the back of his motorcycle and let him take me away. That was our first date; he took me to a cheap burger place. Our conversation was choppy but I was nervous and much later he confessed to me that he, too, was anxious.

ЖЖЖЖ

I didn't tell my parents about him at first but they knew there was someone after two months of me constantly have rendezvous with my friends. They were just happy I decided to re-enter the world. Besides, what was the worst trouble a dying girl could get into?

I had kissed him multiple times in our first two months of dating—even though, he never called it that. I was never his girlfriend, just the girl that happened to be with him a lot. He'd take me to bars and clubs, places a sixteen year old shouldn't have been able to get into but he had connections and my age never seemed to matter.

It was exciting, it was fun—the music brought me to life. We'd dance and dance and dance even when I didn't think I had the energy. Then… sometimes, Inuyasha would run into some people he didn't like and they'd get into a fight. I didn't enjoy that so much, but my boyfriend would always win. Even if he walked away with a bloody nose or a couple of bruises…

We were at a shady bar one Saturday night; I actually drank for the first time. I figured since I might not even reach the legal drinking age why the hell not? One thing led to the next and we were in a dimly lit corner booth. I was all over him, our lips locked in a heated passion. I sucked his lips even nipped a bit, since he liked that. Then his hands slid up my skirt to touch me in a way I never had experienced.

All of a sudden, we stopped. He pulled me away and looked into my confused hazels with his amazingly golden eyes—scanning mine like he was looking for something. Until I finally break the silence, "what?"

"Why are you doing this?" he asked me earnestly, I think that was the first time he actually took us seriously. He even resituated his hands so that they were upon my waist.

"Doing what?" I questioned with a tilt of my head, I even bit my bottom lip. "Did you not like that…?"

"Why do you wanna be with me? Do all this stupid shit?" he nodded towards the bar, "you're a smart girl, you've got a bright future. I'm never going to be much more than a mechanic."

He didn't know… that bright future of mine was all burnt out. I didn't want to tell him, though I had thought about it a lot—even how to say it—because I couldn't take his pity. Sango didn't even know, but she had become my closest friend. The only people that did know promised me they wouldn't tell anyone. It was my secret… I was sick of the sorrowful looks people shot me once they found out that I was just a dead girl walking.

"This is a phase for you, right?" he asked, finally snapping me back to the moment. When my eyes locked with his again I could see a need in them, for me to say yeah. "You wanna go through a bad girl stage before going off to college, eh?"

There would be no college for me…

But for some reason he just wanted a yes from me, so I shrugged and gave it to him, "sure."

Sure, such a great answer. It wasn't a full-fledged yes but not a no either.

He nodded then, as his eyes scanned up and down me. Cautiously, I leaned back down to press my lips to his—when he responded we started up where we left off. It only lasted a little longer before he suggested that he needed to get my drunken ass home.

"Wait, wait, wait," I whispered as soon as he stopped his motorcycle at the bottom of the stairs I had led him to—that was the first time he'd ever even gotten a glimpse at my home.

"I need to walk you up the stairs," he had insisted, "you're gonna fall."

"Am I drunk?" I asked as I wobbled to walk, he quickly grabbed me to make sure I wasn't about to tumble already.

"Yeah," he assured with a nod. "Don't worry, I won't let your parents see me."

"They can't see me," I whispered with an index finger to my lips, "I'm not old enough to drink."

"Then I'll get you in without them knowing." He promised as he took me gently into his arms, "tell me you have a window."

"Second floor by the big tree."

That was the first night he snuck into my room, granted I didn't remember much of it since I passed out. But boy, could he jump. I think my parents knew the next morning I had a hangover but they didn't mention it. I didn't make it a regular thing to get wasted so they let it go.

I got away with a lot of stuff back then.

ЖЖЖ

Somehow, two months turned into four. Summer started and I realized that Inuyasha wasn't a fling. I had been fighting that feeling for a long while, telling myself that he was right—it was just a phase. When school stopped being a distraction I noticed… that he had become a big part of my life. Suddenly, I was so scared. I felt I was suffocating.

What if I was in love with him? I was dying. I didn't have time for love. I had time to feel heartbreak still and I didn't want to. I had an episode that started the day after school got out; I ended up in the hospital for a week… instead of the sickness that was eating away at my years I was worried about my relationship.

On the day I was allowed out my mother stopped me as I was getting changed—out of that ghastly gown and into actual clothes.

"Kagome, you know I love you," that's how she started every sentence whenever I was in the hospital. Just in case things turned for the worst and she'd never talk to me again, she always wanted one of the last things she said to me to be 'I love you'—I know she does.

Mom, I didn't need you to always tell me. I appreciated it, though. It was one of the few consistences in my life. It always made me feel better.

"I also… know that you are seeing someone. Your father and I figured that out a long time ago," she cautiously started, "do you want to talk about it?"

In other words, why was I keeping it a secret? I just shrugged before I looked up from my jeans to her, "are you mad… that I didn't tell you?"

"No, sweetie," she smiled as she walked over to hug me, "we're happy as long as you are and… these past couple of months you've been happier than you have in a long time."

"I…" I slowly started before pressing my lips together and wrapping my arms tightly around him. "I really like him, mom."

It had been a long time since I cried. Whenever I did it was pretty much a way to vent my own self-pity and if I hated it pity from others then why it be okay for me to give it to myself? But… that time, I began to sob anyway.

It hurt to like him so much and… not know where it was going. He wanted it just to be a phase for me so did that mean I was just a fling to him? I had been gone a whole week and my inbox wasn't flooded with texts from him or missed calls. Maybe… I wasn't the only one he was with? I had heard rumors about him two-timing around on past girlfriends and that was the real kicker—I was never his 'girlfriend', he never called me that.

I was confident I had been through enough without having to add a broken heart to the list.

ЖЖ

The night after I got out I texted him to meet me at a little restaurant not too far from where he worked, so he did. I decided to break it off with him before he could hurt me. I had my fun so… I'd move on to the next guy or something. My parents were taking me to America, New York for a week then L.A. anyway. I was going to do some traveling—they knew that's what I really wanted. To see the world…

"What's up?" he asked, completely nonchalant like it was no big deal as he slid into the booth across from me. I had only been gone a whole week without texting or calling him—I didn't know what to say, I was bad at lying. I could omit the truth about my disease but I couldn't lie that's why I didn't contact him. I didn't want to tell him I was in the hospital because that would lead to the inevitable reality that I was dying. But that disappearance didn't seem to bother him.

"I've been thinking," I drew out; I had never broken up with someone before so… it was hard. I fidgeted with fingers, kept crossing my legs one way then the other, and avoided looking at him. I guess those were all giveaways.

"You wanna break it off?" he supposed to win my attention. "I kinda figured it out from the cold shoulder you've been giving me."

"Inuyasha," I muttered before I bit my bottom lip, "that's not what it was... but yeah. I mean, this doesn't really matter, right?" I tried to smile as he looked away; he was always the brooding type so I didn't think too much about it. It was one of things that attracted me to him. "This is just a… fling, right? So… it shouldn't matter that it's…" the last word was the hardest to get out, I almost choked, "done."

"Yeah, sure, right," he muttered swiftly as he slid out of the booth, "whatever. It was fun while it lasted, see ya'."

I don't know… it was just something about the way he refused to look at me. That he sped through his words so much that they seemed to collide upon each other. I was scared it was just wishful thinking but I grabbed my purse and rushed out after him. When I grabbed his hand to get him to stop in the street, I guess something just snapped in him. He turned around to look me square in the eye—flames in his.

"What?" he grunted as he yanked his hand away. "You don't have to make it right, Kagome. A'right? Not everything's simple and sweet."

Believe me; he didn't need to tell me that.

For a moment my mouth just hung open until my brows bent together, "Inuyasha… are you upset?"

He just rolled his eyes at me before turning around.

"If this matters to you then I don't want to break up with you!" I shouted so loud that his cute little doggy ears twitched and the people around me stopped briefly to stare. But it got him to stop in his steps, too.

"What?" he questioned with a cocked brow as he turned to look at me—utterly stupefied. "That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard."

"How is that dumb?" I retorted with folded arms, "you act so nonchalant like this doesn't matter then you beg me to say that it's just a phase to me so… what's a girl to think, Inuyasha?"

"I did not beg you to say anything," he countered as he took a few quick strides towards me so we were face to face.

"You looked like you wanted me to," I murmured meekly back.

"I," he started with his usual zeal only to stop, sigh, and let his shoulders sag, "did… it would be easier if it was."

"Why?"

"Because… if it wasn't, then this would be real," he answered softly.

I didn't need him to explain, I got it. I was scared to get hurt... but so was he.

"Then," I dragged out, "come to dinner tomorrow night… at mine."

"Like," he coaxed out with raised brows, "with your family?"

"Yeah," I nodded, "like with my family. So do you want me to?"

He was shocked, utterly, that I wanted him to meet my parents. I didn't ask him to but he cleaned up for them anyway, didn't look like the hoodlum he really was. I begged my parents not to talk about my "sickness" and they agreed. They knew it was a subject I hated to linger on but… they didn't think that meant I hadn't told him yet.

Even though I was gone for almost a month in the States and visiting my cousins in Kyoto during that summer, Inuyasha and I grew closer. But… I never told him. Whenever I went to the hospital for doctors visits or treatments I'd still text him. I just wouldn't tell him where I was.

That summer I phased out of the bars and clubs and whole bad-boy scene, and he did, too. I convinced him to enroll in college even, he had enough money saved up from working full time for a year that tuition wasn't a problem. If I was lucky I would see him graduate.

But... that was unlikely.

Ж

I was the first one to say 'I love you', he paused for exactly thirty-eight seconds—yes, I counted—then he said it back. I loved the feeling of falling in love and being with him. He arranged most of his classes around my school schedule, but he still had to work since he was… all alone in the world. His dad was long gone and his mom had died when he was in high school. He had to make it in the world all by himself.

I hated how little we saw of each other but… whatever. If I told him the truth he would have put his life on hold, probably, and I didn't want him to do that for me.

"You know I love you, right?" he asked one night as he lingered above me on his bed, we had almost been together for nine months at that point. I nodded up to him, "then what's up?"

"With?" I coaxed out, I couldn't help but chance a glance at his alarm clock. It was Saturday but I still wanted to get home at a reasonable time so not to worry my parents. It wasn't like Inuyasha and I were sexually active, much to his bulging balls' dismay I'm sure. I was really proud of him that he hadn't pushed me and I loved him more for it.

He nodded as his eyes scanned me over quickly—I had never taken my clothes off for him. He was generous in throwing his shirt aside to show his sexy abs but I never did the same. It was just… my clothes were my disguise, without them I looked as sickly as I really was.

I was seventeen, he was twenty—it was reasonable for him to except that sex would be on the table.

"I'm just… not ready," I sort of lied, sort of didn't. On the one hand, I wasn't because I couldn't show him my real side. On the other, I felt completely safe with him and if I were ever going to have sex with someone it'd be him… I just didn't want him to see all of me. He'd be disgusted.

He withheld a sigh as he nodded and rolled over to my side, never letting his arm leave me, "I'll wait."

"Because you love me?" I guessed with a smile.

"Obviously," he answered before he said the classic line, "you know you're too good for me, right?"

And he really believed that. I was a little angel, someone going places, that decided to mingle with a nobody like him. Apparently, he couldn't wrap his head around the fact that I loved him. Miroku always told me that even though I didn't try to change him—I always knew I'd just be a fleeting figure in his life, I didn't think I had the right to make him change for me—because of me he did anyway. He wanted to become a better person so he wouldn't lose me.

The violet eyed pervert thanked me a lot for saving his best friend from never doing anything with his life. Miroku could always make me laugh…

"That's not true," I'd always whisper back to him as I cuddled closer. "You shouldn't say stuff like that."

"I'll stop saying it when it stops being true," he whispered as he kissed me upon my head.

I had no idea what was about to happen… but I did know I wanted to live forever with him. That's why it sucked so badly that my life only had three years left and that he had no idea. I just… I don't know why I couldn't tell him.

But I don't know why I thought he'd never find out. I guess I had become good at running from reality.


A/N: Yeah, I know. Another unfinished story? Uck. But this was originally just going to be a one-shot and it turned into something more. It will be a four shot at most. I'm think probably only two chapters, maybe three, though. I just honestly have no inspiration to write any other story. Mostly Throes of Passion... I know I should update that one but I really should but I can't. I even know everything I want to happen. Ugh. I guess I have writers block on that one.

Hope you enjoyed and please review.