Hello everyone! Another oneshot from me! I'm sorry that it is so depressing, but it is a topic that I randomly thought about one day. Something that hardly anyone touching upon. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: As always, I do not own Inuyasha or any of the characters!
Inuyasha sighed, but he said nothing. He waited patiently for the grey haired woman to reach the hut. He would offer her his arm, but he knew exactly how that would go. She was a stubborn old lady and refused help of any kind. She was stubborn when he met her and she was stubborn now and would always be stubborn.
The half-demon smiled. That was one of the qualities that he enjoyed about her. It was something that made her endearing and annoying all at the same time, which was true with most of her qualities. They fought, almost every day, over the littlest of things, but it no longer ended in a sit; she had removed his rosary on the day that they had gotten married with a joke about how the ring on her finger was all the control over him she needed.
Of course, her eyes didn't have wrinkles around them then and her hair was a brilliant dark black. She had even looked younger than him at that time.
Mortality was a topic that the two had never breached, but it was something that was never far from their thoughts. As Kagome had gotten older, he had often seen her looking into any reflective surface that she could find, touching a newly discovered wrinkle or tugging at an obstinate new grey hair with a deep frown on her face.
But, she never once cast him a look of envy, like others would. More often, it was one of pity. For as she and all of his friends, Miroku, Sango, and the villagers, got older and closer to death, Inuyasha remained as he was: the body and look of a nineteen-year-old. And he would remain this way and the cycle would repeat, over and over again.
Inuyasha contemplated the thought of suicide. He figured that he could do it whenever Kagome died. Just the thought of her passing and leaving him behind, all alone, was enough to make him shiver with loneliness.
She knew. She always knew when he was having those thoughts, for she would simply embrace him and tell him that life was always worth living, whether one thought so or not. Kagome never made him promise not to harm himself with her death, but she knew that she didn't need to. He would never do anything that would sadden Kagome, even if she weren't around to witness it. The thought of the scolding that he would receive in the afterlife was enough to make him rethink his options.
His thoughts once again returned to his elderly wife when he heard her wince in pain. Pressing a hand to her back, Kagome stopped in her tracks and gently massaged the muscle that was causing her pain. Inuyasha rolled his eyes. Her stubbornness be damned.
Scooping his wife up in his arms, Inuyasha carried her the rest of the way into their hut. She screamed at him to put her down, but he ignored her protests. Even though everything else about her body was failing her, the one thing that never seemed to go out was her voice. She could still yell at him with as much enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. He still feared her temper and her tears still had the power to break his heart.
And her heart. That was one thing that would never change. She still had the biggest heart of anyone that he knew. She still risked her life and everything that she had in order to help people in need. And he still put up a fuss anytime that she put herself in danger. She would just smile, shake her head, and say, "Some things never change. Thankfully."
The scent of salt brought Inuyasha out of his thoughts and back into the present. He looked down at Kagome where she sat in the rocking chair that he had made her for their 5th anniversary. He remembered that Kagome had told him that the fifth year was the wood year and that they should give each other gifts of wood. Each year had a different type of gift. Some years were more difficult to locate gifts than others, but they always managed, someway or another.
As always, Kagome's tears managed to put a crack in his heart more than anything else could. Dropping to his knees beside her, he took her hands into his own.
"What is it, koibito?" He knew the reason, but he also knew that she wouldn't open up to him unless he asked. It wasn't that she wasn't open or didn't trust him; she just hated to burden others with her own personal problems. She was always the selfless one, his little miko.
"I can't believe that she is gone. I guess it is true what they say, that one can die of a broken heart," Kagome mumbled out through her tears. Inuyasha took in her attire of black before removing his own black jacket. Black was too depressing of a color to him. Death wasn't something to be mourned; it was something to be welcomed, especially when everyone around you was dying, except you. It was a part of life, just not his. A deep frown set upon his face.
"I know, Kagome. I know." Inuyasha carefully took her into his arms. She was even lighter than she had been when she was younger, something that he had thought impossible. If he had treated her like a fragile china doll then, then he treated her like a very fragile bird's egg now. He was more afraid than ever of hurting her, especially since her strength had waned while his had only grown stronger.
"I'm so sick of funerals. This is the third one this month. What a cursed life mortals live. It's so unfair to live while everyone around you continues to die," Kagome sniffled. He felt her stiffen the moment after she uttered the words and he knew that she regretted them. "Oh, Inuyasha, I'm so-".
"Don't worry about it, Kagome." He cut her off before she could apologize. The words sunk deep into his mind and buried themselves there. It was inevitable. He was destined to watch the only people who had ever accepted him die, and then live life all alone.
There were always his three children, but even they would eventually grow old and die. The two little girls and the one little boy that he had held as infants and raised to adulthood had left the little village a long time ago. Sure, they would visit from time to time, but he was sure that none of them would appreciate their old man hanging around, intruding in on their lives. He knew that he had five grandchildren, but the story with them would be the same. And it always would be.
They were mortals. They were destined to grown older and die, while he remained fixed at a young age, simply watching as everyone he loved died, over and over again.
Eventually, Kagome's tears ran dry and she leaned back in her chair once more. He watched as her face twisted in a grimace with almost every move that she made. She was already 82 years old, which was an extremely long time for someone in this time period. A sense of dread descended upon him when he imaged life without Kagome. Something that he knew he would probably be facing sometime soon.
Yet again, she knew the dark direction that his thoughts had taken, without him even needing to say anything. Wrapping both of her wrinkled hands around separate sections of silver hair on either side of his face, Kagome pulled his face forcefully upwards to look at her own. It was a habit that had started when she was young and he hoped that it would never die away.
"Don't, Inuyasha. Don't think about it. My love for you won't die with me. It is eternal. The feelings we share are eternal," she whispered to him. Gingerly, she pressed her lips against his. Her appearance now didn't disturb him. It didn't sicken him to kiss her and hold her, even though others frowned when they saw him, a seemingly young man, acting affectionate with her, an elderly woman. Love knows no age. He didn't see her as a wrinkled old lady that was past her prime; he saw her as the spunky young girl that had appeared from the well and hastily pulled the arrow from his chest after firmly telling him that she was Ka-go-me and not anybody else. Something that was proven to him many times every day.
Kagome smiled at him. That brilliant smile that still had the power to dissolve anything that was ailing him. Smiling back, Inuyasha got up to make them some dinner. His ears twitched at the sound of her rocking chair rocking back and forth across the hardwood floors of the home that they had built together, a long time ago. He remembered Miroku and Sango helping as well.
Sango. Yet another friend that he had to put into the ground. She had passed away peacefully in her sleep the previous night, a mere week and half after her husband, Miroku, had passed from old age as well. And only a month before that he had helped to bury Sango's younger brother, Kohaku. His passing had been sudden, but, since he had continued the rigorous task of slaying demons and had sustained many more injuries during his life than the others, it really hadn't been much of a shock.
Inuyasha was sick of burying his friends, but he was sicker of what it was doing to Kagome. One by one, she was losing her friends. He saw the fight slowly leaving her eyes, her tired body and mind urging her to accept death and finally be at peace.
It hurt him a little to know that he was the reason she was so fervently holding on to life. She was well aware of what her passing would do to him; it wouldn't simply sadden him, it would completely destroy him.
They ate dinner in a comfortable silence. They didn't need to talk as much nowadays since they knew what the other was thinking by a simple eyebrow raise or a twitch of the mouth or, in Inuyasha's case, a slight movement of an ear. He watched as Kagome slowly fed herself, her knuckles twisted and pained with arthritis. What he wouldn't give for some of her magical medicine from the future. But alas, the well had closed, permanently, when she returned after her three-year absence.
This was a fact that he was now grateful for. He couldn't imagine having to see Kagome live through the death of her mother and grandfather, along with her friends that she knew from school. He never thought that he could be grateful for something that had caused so much pain in the past. He remembered nights where he would awaken and find Kagome missing. Her location was always at the well. She would sit with her legs dangling over the dark abyss, a sad look painted on her face. When he would confront her about it, she would simply smile and say, "I'm happy here, Inuyasha. I chose you and this time, and I chose rightly."
Inuyasha stoked the fire to a comfortable heat while Kagome slowly got herself into bed. Damn stubborn woman. It wouldn't hurt as much if you let me help you. Once the fire was set, the hanyou joined her in bed, wrapping his arms tightly around her delicate frame. He inhaled her scent, which had remained the same sweet and powerful aroma, even as she had aged.
It wasn't long until the miko was fast asleep, her breathing a little irregular in her sleep. Unfortunately, this had become a regular occurrence. Please, Kami. Don't take the one thing that I have left in this world.
He realized how selfish he was being, asking for more time with his love, even though it was hurting her simply to be alive. He frowned and closed his eyes tightly. Never mind, Kami. Just do whatever will make Kagome the happiest. That is all that matters in the end. And with that final thought, the silver haired hanyou drifted off into a fitful sleep.
The grey sky matched the hanyou's mood perfectly. His insides felt like they were being ripped out slowly, and he didn't even try to hide the tears that were falling down his face. The day that he had been dreading for the past couple years had finally arrived: Kagome was dead. He could at least find solace that she had passed peacefully in her sleep; there had been no pain, and she had died wrapped up in his arms.
All of his children and grandchildren had arrived to the village to see their mother off. Even Shippo had come back from his kitsune pack. He was no longer a baby, but he still cried over his foster mother's death. Sad that it takes a death like this for me to see all of them. Miroku's son, who followed his in father's footsteps of both lechery and faith, put on a beautiful ceremony, which Inuyasha was grateful for.
Now, all of the visitors were sleeping for the night in various huts, and Inuyasha was alone, perched in the branches above Kagome's lonely grave. He hadn't buried her in the graveyard of the village. It wasn't enough for her there. Instead, he watched her grave from the powerful and strong branches of the Sacred Tree, a place that meant almost as much to him as the old well did.
It was the very spot where he had first met her. He remembered calling her Kikyo, but he couldn't remember why on earth he had ever thought the two were the same. Kagome's spirit was kind and burned bright, in spite of any dangers. He remembered Kikyo as being much colder, as was the custom for a priestess of her stature.
He couldn't remember ever feeling this broken up. His mind wondered briefly if Sesshomaru would use Tensaiga to bring her back, but he had quickly erased the thought. His wife was finally at peace, something that she deserved more than anybody else.
Inuyasha felt lost. No one had ever loved him like Kagome did, except for his mother. And no one would probably ever love him again. She was the only one who was able to look past him being nothing more than a hanyou. Even Kikyo couldn't accomplish that much.
So, here he was. Back to where he started before being pinned to the tree, before he met Kikyo and before he met Kagome and their odd little troop of friends. He wondered if he had the courage and strength to start all over again before realizing that he didn't have any other options. This was his life. It was something he was going to have to live through over and over again. He wished, not for the first time, that he had inherited his mother's mortality. But then, I wouldn't have lived long enough to meet Kagome at all.
It was worth it, he decided. It was worth the pain at the end for the great number of happy years that he had with his miko. He wouldn't trade them for anything. He remembered the moments they fought over trivial things and the moments that they had shared in the simple beauty of the world. Memories like that were things that he was just no willing to give up. Not for anything or anybody.
Inuyasha glanced down once more at the grave beneath his dangling feet. Forcing up a smile, he stared at the delicate white flowers that blew gently in the breeze. Wait for me Kagome. Promise that you will wait for me, wherever you are.
For our love, is eternal. And I will see you again, koibito.