Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha.

A/n: REVISED. There still may be some mistakes and for that I apologize. I hope you enjoy.

~Chapter 1~

The Western Lord hid amongst the shadows of Inuyasha's forest as he watched the lovely young miko stare into the well, a look of pain and determination written on her face. The situation as unpleasant as it was, could not have been handled better in Sesshomaru's opinion. He respected the girl for displaying such grace even as her heart was breaking.

So like their great and terrible father the hanyou was; from his attraction to human females to his unfaithfulness to those who he had made promises to. The uncouth beast would most likely deny it, but he had made a silent vow to the miko that had only grown in strength as he continued to protect and provide for her. Inuyasha may be incompetent, but the half breed was fully aware that with his actions he was not only telling the world that the girl belonged to him, but that he belonged to her. His foolish half-brother had initiated a courtship and made promises that in the Youkai world were binding. The boy was lucky the miko was not a demon, for his life would have been forfeit for his treachery. Inuyasha had finally proven just how little honor he truly had.

When Sesshomaru witnessed the hurt and confusion on the miko's face, he had been reminded of the look upon his mother's face when she learned of his father's dalliances with the Hime, Izayoi. The Inu no Taisho had disgraced the proud demoness despite her loyalty and devotion to him—Sesshomaru could forgive his father many things, but never for how he had made his mother cry. As for the little miko, though she was human she had been dishonored by an unfortunate member of his bloodline. She deserved so much more than what she had been given; it was for the best that she had chosen to leave.

The stoic youkai knew that the miko would not be returning for a long while—she needed to learn to stand on her own without the half-breed. All she needed to do was shake off the invisible chains that she had allowed Inuyasha to place on her and she could be a force to be reckoned with. In this place, with comrades who were perfectly fine with her standing on the sidelines, she would never grow. Sesshomaru knew that when she returned, she would be nothing short of spectacular.


Kagome had tried not to love him, but she couldn't ever find the strength to walk away from him. When he looked at her with a faraway look in his eyes and saw another, she continued to stand by his side. She loved him still when his breath held at the mentioning of her name. And when she saw him hold Kikyo close, no matter how much pain it caused her, she loved him even then. Now, she had no one to blame but herself for the state of her heart; a heart that she had given to Inuyasha at an age when it was most vulnerable. When she had finally realized that it was not safe with him, she found that he wouldn't give it back.

He had wanted her love almost desperately, yet he refused to return the sentiment. The truth was, she had always known deep down that he would choose Kikyo—just not in the way he had. Perhaps she had read too much into the way he would look at her and how he protected her; maybe she had wanted him to love her so badly that she had imagined it all. She wondered then, who was more selfish? Was it her; for expecting more? Or was it him; for letting her believe there was hope for them because he was terrified of losing her?

She wished she had walked away when he had given her the chance. She had known loving him would be painful and yet she had stayed. He hurt her over and over again, and when she felt like she finally had the strength to leave, he would be so very kind. He would apologize and stare at her with those big remorseful eyes and she would forgive him. She was finally letting herself see just how unhealthy her love for him had been; for her to have ever allowed him to bend her to his will for so many years made her feel weak. She had once been strong and he had taken that from her.

Today though, everything had changed. The second that Inuyasha decided to take Kikyo for his mate; a woman whose heart did not beat and whose eyes shown only emptiness, he had made sure of that. Kagome could not begin to describe the depth of her anger and hurt—it was like a living thing inside of her, both fire and ice in her veins.

She could have lived with Inuyasha choosing Kikyo; it had always been a very big possibility. It was when he had chosen her that was tearing Kagome apart. For over a year he had been mated to the undead priestess, but had decided to keep the joyous occasion a secret. He had lied.

She wiped a traitorous tear furiously away before it could slide down her cheek. She didn't understand how he could call himself her friend and deceive her in the same breath. She would never have denied him his happiness, even were it at the cost of her own. She could never be so cruel—yet he had allowed her to dream of a possible future with him while he was off already planning his own with Kikyo. Kagome had been played and no amount of apologies or excuses could hide from her what his true purpose was. He wanted to keep them both. Well he could have Kikyo, but Kagome would be damned if she was going to play the lovesick fool in his idea of a fairytale. She deserved better than a life without love because Inuyasha was too selfish to let her go.

Kami, the look on his face when she caught him in that damning embrace with Kikyo would have been hilarious, if not for the shock that had frozen Kagome to her core. She had tried to come up with a thousand different scenarios and reasons to justify why he would be naked in the other woman's arms. She tried, but all she could see was the guilty horror on the hanyou's face—she couldn't make excuses for him anymore. She wasn't even able to fully register the situation before Kikyo fixed her clothes, complaining in her cold monotone voice about how Kagome had interrupted her time with her mate. The older miko had taken joy in the shock and sorrow that flickered across Kagome's face, especially when she announced that they were celebrating their one year anniversary of being mated. Kagome had only stared at Inuyasha, even as Kikyo called her a whore for panting after a taken man, she never looked away from him. Kagome would never understand how Inuyasha could love such a hateful bitch.

It was then that Inuyasha had dared to approach her; he had actually tried to hold her. She had calmly pushed him away with one hand while reaching up with the other to yank the subjugation beads from his neck. She watched as his golden eyes widened and the ears she had once found so endearing pin themselves to his head. In that moment, as they watched the beads fall to the ground and he whispered her name, she had taken back her heart. It was terribly wounded, but it was finally free.

As Kikyo continued spouting insults; making sure to throw in how much of a fool Kagome was for thinking Inuyasha could ever want a copy, Kagome turned and walked away. The young heartbroken miko had ignored Inuyasha's calls and took a deep shaky breath as she held her head high, refusing to be anything less than dignified as she finally left Inuyasha in the past where he belonged.

She reminded herself once more that she was not Kikyo. She was alive and she was never going to let Inuyasha, Kikyo or anyone else make her feel inadequate. She wiped another tear from her face as she looked up at her bedroom mirror. She saw a girl looking back at her; a girl who she did not recognize. The stranger that reflected back at her seemed to be the broken fragments of something that was once so beautiful. The fire that had once lived in her eyes had dimmed; her blue orbs so sad and tired that Kagome had to close them. She could not believe this is what she had become. For years she had slowly given Inuyasha pieces of herself; always trying to be better than Kikyo for him. The result was a girl who didn't know who she was anymore. She had nothing to prove to anyone but herself now, and she knew exactly what she wanted to be. She wanted to be proud of herself.

Kagome came to a decision then. She walked back to the well house and stared down into the darkness of the invisible portal. She would be leaving so much behind, but she felt so strongly that it was the right thing to do. It would further break her heart to close the well, but if she didn't close it now she never would. She muffled a sob with the back of her hand at the thought of leaving Shippo; the little fox was her everything. She could see his little face in her mind, big green eyes filled with tears. The image nearly changed her mind, but she told herself once more that she was doing what must be done. She would not turn her back on her duty, but nor could she turn her back on herself. She would return, she didn't know how long it would take, but she would go back when the time was right.


The prison began to weaken—it's hold on the evil within began to slacken, releasing its captive slowly and reluctantly. The Darkness felt anticipation surge throughout its being, having not felt anything but hate for its sibling that had locked it away so long ago. It hungered, nearly ravenous at the thought of the world once again bowing down to it as it fed off the fear and death it would cause. It would regain its strength soon and wreak vengeance on its twin. The Darkness will soon encompass and finally extinguish the Light.

A/N: Flames are not welcome. If you have a problem with how I write or BTLOTM in general, go find another story that is more to your liking and keep your rude comments to yourself. You waste both our time by writing them.

I do love reviews though and I appreciate constructive criticism. I hope you liked it.